This season has been far from typical for Greenbrier High School's softball program. But you wouldn't notice any difference if you checked out the Region 2B-AAAA standings.
As they have done for years, the Wolfpack led the sub-region (8-0) heading into this past Friday's doubleheader with South Effingham. Those two games determined which team will be the No. 1 seed.
However, it hasn't been easy, coach Garrett Black explained.
"We only have two kids out there who play the same position they played last year," he said. "That's seven positions where we've had changes. We knew we were going to have some struggles at times. I can handle that as long as we're playing with enthusiasm."
Of course, things aren't always what they seem. Greenbrier has eight losses in 27 games this season, but Black said that all eight came against teams ranked in the state's coaches poll. The Wolfpack, who had won eight games in a row heading into the doubleheader with South Effingham, still have the opportunity to win the region championship when the region playoffs start up on Friday.
"We've played a pretty tough schedule," Black said. "... I think the schedule has paid off. We're peaking at the right time, and I like to think the 'Pack has their swagger back."
The format features the No. 1 seed from the North sub-region, which features Greenbrier, Evans and Lakeside, facing off against the No. 4 seed from the South, and vice versa. Likewise, the Nos. 2 and 3 seeds from opposite sub-regions play each other.
Winning that game guarantees that team a spot in the state playoffs. Seeding is determined Oct. 6 with a mini-playoff between the four teams remaining.
On Tuesday, the Wolfpack earned a tight, 3-2 victory over the Knights.
If Evans had won, the Knights would have been tied with Effingham County for third place in the sub-region.
As it stands, Evans will be the No. 4 seed and must play the South sub-region's No. 1 seed.
For the Knights, the game represented an opportunity to continue a steady improvement, coach Colette Cassedy said.
"We've taken our licks, but we keep steadily going," she said. "We feel right now like we're still going in the right direction. ... As you play all season, you're trying to keep getting better. That's all we can ask of them."
Dogs lead sub-region
With a 12-7 victory over Thomson on Sept. 9, Harlem took control of the Region 3B-AAA standings. The Bulldogs have not lost a sub-region game and clinched the No. 1 seed in the North sub-region with Tuesday's 10-5 win over Westside.
Thomson likely will take the No. 2 seed, while Grovetown and Westside are jockeying for the third and fourth positions heading into the region tournament with play Saturday and Tuesday at Diamond Lakes Softball Facility in Augusta.
The Region 3-AAA Tournament features a double-elimination format with the No. 1 seeds playing the No. 4 seeds in the opposite sub-region and the No. 2 seeds playing the No. 3 seeds in the opposite sub-region.
Harlem coach Mike Leverett said earning the top spot in the sub-region was a big achievement. It also helps when the region tournament comes around, he noted.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.