WOODSTOCK — Forsyth Central’s trip to the state playoffs turned out to be a quick one.
A day after falling 1-0 to defending state champion Northgate in the Class AAAA North Sectional, Central ended the season on Saturday, with a 3-0 defeat against Woodland (Bartow) in the double elimination tournament at Hobgood Park.
Central coach Bill Richardson was disappointed at the back-to-back shutouts, and said — had he known ahead of time that Central would only surrender four runs in two games — he’d have been optimistic about his team’s chances in the bracket.
“We would have been happy with that. We really felt like we would hit the ball better than we have,” Richardson said.
“The bottom line is we have to hit the ball. ... We haven’t really hit it in a couple of weeks, and defensively we were fine today. ... We didn’t get runners in when we got ‘em on.”
Central managed only two hits against Woodland pitcher Emily Clay. Woodland spread a handful of hits off Brittney Head across the game, and scored once in the first, fourth and sixth innings. Diana Wimpy had two hits for the Wildcats.
Central had at least three decent chances to get on the scoreboard against Woodland. The Lady Dawgs had runners at second and third with two outs in the second, but couldn’t convert. Taylor McDonnell recorded a bunt single in the third, but was thrown out stealing second. Finally, the Lady Dawgs had runners at the corners with two outs in the fifth, but couldn’t get anything out of it.
“We got to support our defense a little bit better than that, take a little pressure off. We need to get out there and get somebody on early, get a run early, and then that just changes the complexion of everything,” Richardson said.
At 22-11-2, Central wrapped up the most successful softball season in school history. Richardson said this group of players did a better job of coming together than any of the teams he’s coached previously. He said the team got solid pitching and defense all year, although the hitting was inconsistent.
With seven seniors on their way out — including three out of four starting infielders — Richardson will have some holes to fill, but he seems confident that next year’s edition of the Lady Dawgs will be just as solid.
“The good news is we’ve got very capable people to put in those spots,” he said.
“We fully intend to come right back, at least to here and [hopefully] more.”