SYLVESTER -- In its Region 1-AAA Tournament opener Tuesday, the Worth County softball team proved it was very worthy of the No. 1 seed.
The Lady Rams hammered Americus-Sumter, 16-2, in four innings as Kelly Weaver picked up the win on the mound, giving up just two hits.
The win improves Worth's overall record to 24-2 as it now faces Crisp County -- a team it beat 6-2 just two weeks ago -- in the semifinals today at 5 p.m. at home.
"We struggled a little bit in the beginning, but once we got going we never looked back," said Worth coach Russ Beard, whose girls wrapped up the Region 1-AAA title last week with a perfect record. "We scored nine in the third and then hung five more on 'em in the next inning."
Haley Ellis blasted her third grand slam of the season and Kimmy Lee went 2-for-3 and stole two bases.
"Haley was just her usual (dominant) self, and Kimmy really played great (Tuesday). She's done a great job for us all year," Beard said.
Lee also scored two runs, as did Haley's twin sister, Heather, who also went 2-for-3, as did Faith Jones.
If Worth wins today, it will only need to beat the winner of the Crisp-Cairo matchup Thursday to secure the region crown and No. 1 seed out of Region 1 heading into the state tournament, where it fell short one year ago in the exact same scenario to Woodland, Henry.
"We hope it turns out better than last year, that's for sure," Beard said.
LEE COUNTY SPLITS IN 1-AAAA TOURNEY; NEEDS WIN TODAY:
The Lady Trojans (16-7) split their first two games of the Region 1-AAAA tournament Tuesday, beating Northside, Columbus, 6-0, before losing to Northside, Warner Robins, 2-1.
In the first game against Columbus, Lindsay Tompkins had two strikeouts in the win, and was a 3-for-3 at the plate. Jessi Jones and Paiton Cromer both added two hits for the Lady Trojans, who had 10 hits as a team -- all singles -- and scored three runs in the sixth inning.
"We probably played the best we have played all year (in that game)," Lee County head coach Lynn Avery said. "So that's a good sign. We played some great defense."
In the second game, No. 1-seed Northside's pitcher Brooke Red stifled the Lady Trojans with 15 strikeouts.
Lee County managed only two hits -- doubles by Hailey Scott and Tompkins -- compared to Warner Robins' three.
"It was a good game," Avery said. "Lindsay did a good job on the mound, but (their pitcher just did better)."
The Lady Trojans play again today at 4 p.m. against Hardaway, which beat Bainbridge Tuesday.
"We hate that we lost the second game, but we hung with the No. 1 team in the region and we hadn't seen them all year," Avery said. "So we need to win (today)."