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Softball: Preview of first-round state playoff matchups
Hannah Cole
Hannah Cole delivers a pitch earlier this season during a game against South Forsyth. - photo by David Roberts

Mill Creek at North Forsyth

When: 4 and 6 p.m. Wednesday; TBA Thursday, if necessary.

Records: North Forsyth is 27-3 overall and 17-1 in Region 6-7A; Mill Creek is 13-11 overall and 4-7 in Region 8-7A.

What to know: North Forsyth was utterly dominant during the regular season, winning 23 straight games at one point. The Raiders’ 5-4 loss to Buford on Sept. 27 ended that streak, while a 3-1 loss to Lambert on Saturday marked North’s third loss all season. The Raiders outscored their opponents 258-58 through 30 games. Senior Olivia Tyson has been fantastic in the circle, while Abby Castleberry, Ali Jones, Lauren Fields, Alexis Monroe and Lexie Durban play sharp defense across the infield. Sophomore Taylor Pipkins and freshman Logan Currie have also added a big boost at the plate for North’s potent offense. North beat Mill Creek 10-2 earlier this season, pounding 11 hits, including a two-run homer by Olivia Tyson.

What's next: Winner will play Grayson/McEachern.

Alexis Monroe
North Forsyth junior Alexis Monroe celebrates Monday against Buford. Photo by Lily McGregor Photography

Mountain View at Lambert

When: 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. Wednesday; 5:30 p.m. Thursday, if necessary.

Records: Lambert is 24-4 overall and 15-2 in Region 6-7A; Mountain View is 13-14 overall and 6-6 in Region 8-7A.

What to know: Lambert might be the hottest team in the state right now, winning 21 straight games and beating region champion North Forsyth in the regular-season finale. Lambert hasn’t lost a game since Aug. 24, when the Longhorns opened region play with a pair of losses at North. Since then, Lambert has been scorching hot, racing through Region 6-7A and stepping out of region play to collect tournament wins against Northside-Columbus and Dacula – both ranked opponents. Hannah Cole and Courtney Sauer have been strong in the circle and at the plate for Lambert, while Madison Todd, Kirsten Cowart and Hannah Cornetto fill out the top half of Lambert’s lineup.

What's next: Winner will play Campbell/Parkview.

South Forsyth at Peachtree Ridge

When: 5 and 7 p.m. Wednesday

Records: South Forsyth is 14-15 overall and 11-7 in Region 6-7A; Peachtree Ridge is 10-13 overall and 6-6 in Region 8-7A.

What to know: South Forsyth won two out of three games against Denmark to earn the No. 3 seed in Region 6-7A and will face a Peachtree Ridge team that has won six out of its past seven following a rough start to the season. Peachtree Ridge beat South 6-1 on Aug. 12 but then went 2-11 over a four-week stretch. South pitcher Josie Crossman did not start that game and has been effective this season as the staff ace. Several South juniors have been swinging a hot bat lately, including Kennedy Ariail, Emma Souter, Sarah Quian and Karly Casey. Peachtree Ridge is led by Kennedy Harp, a Florida State commit.

What's next: Winner will play Brookwood/East Coweta.

Josie Crossman

Denmark at North Gwinnett

When: 5 and 7 p.m. Wednesday

Records: Denmark is 14-12 overall and 9-9 in Region 6-7A; North Gwinnett is 22-5-1 overall and 12-0 in Region 8-7A.

What to know: Denmark is playoff bound for the first time as a member of Georgia’s highest classification and will travel to North Gwinnett on Wednesday. North Gwinnett is Class 7A’s top-ranked team according to ScoreAtlanta and is led by Marisa Miller, a University of Georgia commit. Still, Denmark can flat out hit the ball with an offense that averages nearly seven runs per game. Seniors Jessie DeNardo and Taylor Gajdik lead a relatively young group that features sophomores Jordan Williams and Avery Callaway, as well as freshman Sara Harris, toward the top of the lineup.

What's next: Winner will play Newton/Newnan.

Cedar Grove at East Forsyth

When: 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. Wednesday

Records: East Forsyth is 20-5 overall and 18-1 in Region 7-3A; Cedar Grove is 8-7 overall and 8-6 in Region 5-3A.

What to know: East Forsyth’s storybook season continues Wednesday as the Broncos host their first playoff season against Cedar Grove. East hit the ground running in its inaugural season, winning 20 games and capturing the Region 7-3A championships. Freshman Cadence Alberty owns a 15-3 record and 1.46 ERA across 109 2/3 innings, collecting 132 strikeouts. Abi Shaheen offers depth in the circle, while Emily Hutcheson, Ava Cowart, Cali Marshall, Emma Smallwood, Kennah Wall, Shelby Conaway and Averie Nowalk have been fixtures in the Broncos’ lineup.

What's next: Winner will play Windsor Forest/Pierce County.

Emily Hutcheson