Harlem, Evans and Greenbrier have advanced to Round 2 of the state softball tournament.
To say they advanced, however, does not really tell the story. The trio of squads blasted their way to Round 1 sweeps. The three teams won their six games by an amazing combined score of 98-3. That's not a misprint: 98-3!
Each team will now play in Round 2 starting Wednesday. Series wins this week would propel them into the Elite Eight. Here is a look at how each team got through Round 1:
Harlem (Region 3-AAA runner-up)
The Bulldogs improved to 23-8-2 with a series sweep of Cairo. Harlem outscored the Syrupmaids 8-0 and 16-1 in the two games.
Next, Harlem will tangle with West Laurens. West Laurens is 23-7-1 after sweeping Spalding in Round 1. West Laurens has been on a tear, winning 10 straight games. In those 10 contests, West Laurens has not yielded a run, outscoring the opposition 101-0.
Evans (Region 2-AAAA, 3rd place)
Colette Cassedy's Knights dominated Morrow in Round 1, winning 19-1 and 15-0. That pushes their record to 20-13 on the season, despite graduating one of the state's best players, Jenny Shepherd, last season.
Next up for Evans is Northgate. The Vikings swept Houston County in Round 1, 2-0 and 3-0. In the first game, Northgate pitcher Ashley Clifton tossed a perfect game.
Greenbrier (Region 2-AAAA champions)
Garrett Black's squad has grown accustomed to winning region crowns. They now have their sights set on a run at the school's second state title. Round 1 was no problem for the Wolfpack. They hammered North Clayton 19-0 and 21-1 in a pair of games halted after just 3 innings.
That improved Greenbrier's mark to 27-9 on the season, finishing region play with an impressive 13-1 mark. The 'Pack will have their hands full in Round 2 with Whitewater. The Wildcats swept Lee County 3-0 and 4-1 in Round 1 to improve to 28-9 on the season. They also posted a 13-2 record in a very good region.
Vote Poythress in 2010
No, former Greenbrier and University of Georgia slugger Rich Poythress is not running for office. But he did post a monster season this year for the Advanced A High Desert Mavericks of the California League.
His numbers were so impressive that Poythress is one of five nominees for this year's Class A-Advanced Hitter of the Year. Poythress hit .315 with 31 homers and a minor league best 130 RBI.
You can vote for Poythress at www.minorleaguebaseball.com. The button for the MiLBY awards is on the right, and Poythress is the final player on the list in Advanced A.
Voting for top hitter ends Monday.
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