WARNER ROBINS — Lee County’s run in the Class AAAAA state playoffs came to an end Wednesday when No. 1 seed Houston County swept the No. 3 seed Lady Trojans, 17-5 and 3-1, in the second round.
It ended an unlikely postseason run for a Lee County team that started the year with just two seniors on its roster and because of an injury only fielded one senior in the playoffs. But the Lady Trojans still were able to rally past Richmond Hill in the opening round last week and advance in the state playoffs for the first time since 2009, eventually ending their season with a 21-16 record.
“With the youth we had, we were really proud with the way they battled,” Lee County coach Dwayne Suggs said. “They never gave up. Like (Wednesday) when they were down 3-1 in the second game, they kept battling and put up a fight. They have done that all year, and that is what has made them a good team.”
The Lady Trojans opened the first game with four runs in the top of the first inning on RBIs from Ally Clegg, Sydney McClain and Caitlyn Lawton, but Houston County responded with eight runs in the bottom of the first off Lee County starting pitcher Danielle Davis and never looked back.
In Game No. 2, Houston County plated three runs in the third inning and held off a Lee County rally in the seventh inning to advance to the Elite 8 in Columbus next week.
CRISP SPLITS: After a nail-biting Game 2 that came down to the final inning on Wednesday, Crisp County and Perry will play again at 6 p.m. today in a winner-take-all Game 3 in the second round of the Class AAAA playoffs.
Crisp (23-11), the No. 1 seed from Region 1-AAAA, won the first game, 8-0, in six innings behind a two-hitter from pitcher Meagan Coleman, while Julia Davis (3-4), Torie Holmes (2-3, 2 RBIs) and Shane Phinney (2-3, 3 RBIs) led the Lady Cougars at the plate.
No. 3 seed Perry won the second game, 2-1, after scoring once in the first inning and then again in the sixth inning to break a 1-1 tie. Phinney allowed just five hits, while Savannah Thompson had two of the Lady Cougars’ five hits in the nightcap.
SEMINOLE COUNTY ADVANCES TO ELITE 8: The Lady Indians advanced to the Class A Elite 8 for the second year in a row after sweeping Johnson County in a pair of shutouts Wednesday in Donalsonville.
Seminole County pitchers Jessi Helms (11 strikeouts, 5 hits) and Erika Roberts (7 strikeouts, 4 hits) were dominant in the victories. Helms pitched Seminole to a 5-0 win in the opener, while Roberts was on the mound all five innings for a 9-0 victory in Game No. 2.
Roberts, Cassi Herring and Shymeshia Hopkins each had two hits in the first game, and Kenna Shirley led Seminole in the nightcap at the plate with a three-run triple.
The No. 5 seed Lady Indians (21-7) play again Oct. 31 in the Elite 8 in Columbus against Telfair County, which swept Miller County in a second-round series on Wednesday.
Last year in the eight-team, double-elimination Elite 8 tournament, Seminole County went 1-2.
BACONTON SWEPT BY HAWKINSVILLE: No. 3 seed Hawkinsville proved to be too much for No. 14 Baconton Charter in Wednesday’s Class A Sweet 16 series.
Baconton (20-10) had the tying run in scoring position in the seventh inning of the opener, but Hawkinsville held on for a 4-2 win. In the second game, Hawkinsville scored five runs in the fourth inning and then four in the fifth inning to blow the game open.
The Lady Blazers were led at the plate in the series by Kimmie Davis, who was 6-for-6 and scored four of team’s six runs, and Taylor McKenzie, who was 4-for-7.