Making sense of the softball season in Forsyth County this fall requires an understanding of entropy.
West Forsyth went from looking like South’s top competitor for the top of Region 6-AAAAAA, only to fall into a spot where they’ll have to fend off Johns Creek for the fourth and final playoff slot.
Lambert, who is a half-game behind North for the second seed, has stayed in the thick of region play after a tough non-region start, even though many of the Lady Longhorns have spent more time in the dugout comparing injuries with one another than raking the ball from the plate.
Then you have South Forsyth and North Forsyth, who face off Saturday at 3 p.m. in a game that has many more implications that one would have thought a month ago.
On Sept. 1, South, who was undefeated in region play until falling at Lambert on Sept. 22, visited Coal Mountain on a clear evening. When that game ended, it was pretty clear who the juggernaut in Forsyth County was—the Lady War Eagles. South won that game 10-0 in what head coach Ronnie Davis called “the most complete game” his team has played all season. North coach Bud Henderson was frustrated; the Lady Raiders were struggling with finding rhythm.
Preceding that 10-0 loss was a 5-0 loss at West Forsyth. Following that 10-0 loss was an 8-0 loss against Woodstock.
Look at North now. The Lady Raiders have won nine straight games since that three-game stretch where they were shutout 23-0. Now, North (19-5, 12-3) is in position to get revenge against South and possibly put itself in position to contend for the region title.
“I think probably, beating Lambert might be a turning point for them … finally start realizing how skilled they really are,” North coach Bud Henderson said. “We’re still really young, still have a lot of hurdles to go over, but we’ve really, really matured over the last few weeks and people are realizing some things, their capabilities and their mindset and things are going well for us.”
During multiple practices and multiple postgame discussions, Henderson relayed a similar message early in the season—he thought his team just didn’t realize how good they were.
Davis made similar mention Wednesday: “North is a team that, I think, at the beginning of the year they were in the spot where we were two years ago. They have talent, they just didn’t realize how good they are. Their kids in the field, defensively, could have the best talent in the county.”
Saturday’s marquee matchup headlines the final stretch for each region team as they finish off their regular season coming out of fall break. For Henderson, he felt like getting away from softball activities took the pressure off the win streak.
“You know, we’re both on fall break and both decided to give the kids some time to recuperate a little bit. For us, a nine-game winning streak is mentally demanding, so having to do what it takes. I think it’s good for us. Sometimes layoffs can go either way,” Henderson said.
A LOOK AHEAD
Region 6-AAAAAA standings going into next week with remaining games left. Region record in parenthesis.
1. South Forsyth (12-1). Remaining games: at Northview (4-9), North Forsyth (12-3), at Alpharetta (3-9), Habersham (4-9).
2. North Forsyth (12-3). Remaining games: at South (12-1), Centennial (0-14), at Lambert (11-3).
3. Lambert (11-3). Remaining games: at Alpharetta (3-9), at Northview (4-9), at Chattahoochee (6-8), North (12-3).
4. West Forsyth (10-5). Remaining games: at Mill Creek (non region), Alpharetta (3-9), at Habersham (4-9), Chattahoochee (6-8)