SCA ace Anna Laine Brock threw her second perfect game of the season, striking out 13 of 15 Deerfield batters she faced Thursday.
DAMASCUS -- After years and years of playing second fiddle in GISA Region 3-AA, Southwest Georgia Academy is on top.
Make that back on top.
The Lady Warriors claimed their second consecutive Region 3-AA Championship on Thursday after a 23-0, three-inning rout of Valwood.
But SGA's second straight region title comes with an asterisk: The Lady Warriors (14-2, 7-1) actually share the honor with Citizen's Christian Academy, which also finished 7-1 in region play. The two were named co-champs one season after SGA won its first outright and now will have to hold a coin flip next week to determine which team gets the No. 1 seed when the state tournament starts Oct. 8.
"There was some celebrating when we won (Thursday), but not a whole lot," SGA coach Tommy Manry said. "The girls were happy, but also a little upset. They said, 'We don't want to flip a coin or share it with anybody.' But that's just the way it is."
SGA was the only team to beat CCA all season, thanks in large part to ace Bailey Ponder, who had another stellar day on the mound Thursday. Ponder and Allison Houston combined to throw a one-hitter as Ponder moved to 11-2. Leading the way from the plate for SGA was Kyndal Carver (3-for-4, two doubles, four RBI), Jenna Kitchings (double, two RBI) and Morgan Everson (2-for-2, two RBI).
Westover girls, boys cross country win Monroe meet; Lee’s Kennedy wows with 15:53
ALBANY – With the annual Westover Invitational just around the corner next week, the Patriots and Lady Patriots fine-tuned their times Thursday with wins at the Monroe Invitational.
Westover’s girls won with a total of 48, led by reigning Herald Player of the Year and Class AAA state champ Ericka Taylor (1st place, 20:22), while the boys won with a final tally of 42 points, paced by Josh Mason, who finished second behind Lee County’s Jacob Kennedy.
But while Kennedy’s team failed to place in the Top 10, it was his scorching individual time of 15:53 that had everyone’s jaws on the ground after the meet. It was not only a school record for Lee, but it marked the fourth-fastest time run in Georgia — in any class — run this season.
Monroe’s girls (99) finished second, followed by Colquitt County (116) and Pelham (119). For the boys, Colquitt (46) was second, followed by Pelham (71) and Monroe (154).
SHERWOOD 8, DEERFIELD 0, (5): Don't look now, but Anna Laine Brock has done it again.
The Lady Eagles' junior ace struck out 13 of the 15 batters she faced en route to throwing her second perfect game of the season. The first one also came against Deerfield.
Brock's ERA is now a staggering 0.29 for the season as she improved her overall record to 4-1, while SCA moved to 4-5 overall as a team.
It was also senior night at SCA, where the Lady Eagles bid farewell to Jordyn Cox (two RBI, two runs scored) and Kristien Fuller (RBI, run scored). Allie Owens also added an RBI and scored a run.
RANDOLPH SOUTHERN 5, GEORGIA CHRISTIAN 2: The Lady Patriots moved one step closer to locking up the region title, moving to 10-3 overall and 6-1 in 3-A.
Madison Ragan pitched her second straight no-no, fanning 12 GC batters, while also going 3-for-3 at the plate. Dana McCarter notched a triple and RBI for R-S, while Gaby Jackson had two hits and an RBI.
Randolph Southern will likely end up in a tie for the region title with Crisp Academy and have to settle which team gets the No. 1 state seed with a coin flip next week.
LEE COUNTY 7, BAINBRIDGE 0, (6): Natalie Shiver, Lee County's only senior, went out with a bang on senior night in Leesburg, going 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI as the Lady Trojans improved to 3-0 in sub-region play and are now one win away next week against rival TCC from locking up the No. 1 seed for the GHSA Region 1-AAAA tournament.
Erin Callaway was the winning pitcher for the Lady Trojans, improving to 10-7 overall after giving up just three hits and striking out four. She also had a double, while teammate Hailey Scott (2-for-3, triple, three runs scored) did the rest.
WORTH COUNTY 10, CRISP COUNTY 1: The Lady Rams routed their region rivals Thursday thanks to seven hits -- two of which came from Faith Jones. Haley Ellis, Kimberly Lee and Lauren Potts all had doubles, and Potts was the winning pitcher.
SOUTHLAND WINS REGION: Alex Lindsey had the jitters before Thursday's region championship against Tiftarea.
And those jitters came back in the seventh inning.
With two outs and a 6-4 lead, the senior issued her first walk of the game before striking out Neeli Fortson as the Lady Raiders claimed their first region title since 2004.
"I was about to die sitting on the bench (before the game)," Lindsey said. "Once I got that first pitch, I was good until that last inning. We had the 7-8-9 batters up, so I was like, 'OK, I have to get this done before the leadoff got up. I froze with the ninth batter, but we got the first one (leadoff)."
Lindsey could barely contain herself as the team rallied around her after the final out, celebrating the win.
"It feels great," said Lindsey. "We came close last year. That was the closest I came to anything. I wanted a region (championship) under my belt finally. I have never felt so accomplished in my high school career."
Lindsey carried the Lady Raiders on Thursday. She was 3-for-4 with a triple, and she drove in the tying runs in the fourth and the go-ahead run in the sixth.
Lindsey scattered six hits, struck out four, walked one and allowed two earned runs.
Albany Herald sports editor Danny Aller and Americus Times-Recorder sports editor Chris Whitaker contributed to this report