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Softball: South, North set to open playoffs at home
Ali Jones
North Forsyth junior Ali Jones fires a ball to first base during Tuesday's doubleheader against South Forsyth. - photo by David Roberts

No. 4 Duluth at No. 1 South Forsyth

When: 4 p.m. Tuesday

Records: Duluth (5-18); South Forsyth (21-3-1)

What to know: South won its final six games of the regular season – all in convincing fashion. The War Eagles swept Gainesville 38-0, then wrapped up the Region 6-7A title with a three-game sweep of Forsyth Central, 28-2, before a 10-2 win against West Forsyth. 

Makenna Segal leads South in batting average (.483), runs scored (23) and home runs (4), while Hannah Marchman is 6-0 with a 1.39 ERA in 45 1/3 innings in the circle.

Duluth’s top four hitters are underclassmen, led by sophomore Kendall Smiley (.397 batting average). The War Eagles will likely see Smiley in the pitcher’s circle, too, as her 4.79 ERA in 20 appearances leads the Wildcats.

No. 3 Dunwoody at No. 2 North Forsyth

When: 5 p.m. Tuesday

Records: Dunwoody (5-5); North Forsyth (21-9)

What to know: North Forsyth caught fire late in the season, winning 15 of 17 games after a Sept. 5 loss to Lambert. The Raiders didn’t drop another region game after that, finishing 15-3 in Region 6-7A.

North has a solid lineup throughout, and the Raiders’ first three hitters – Ashleigh Grace, Adaline Nix, McKayla Cothran – hit a combined 8 for 16 with five RBIs and six runs scored last week in their regular-season finale, a 10-3 win against Denmark. Olivia Tyson gave up three runs on two hits across seven innings, striking out eight and walking five. 

North might be one of the strongest No. 2 seeds in the state and will be a tough out for a Dunwoody team that played only 10 games this season. 

No. 3 Lambert at No. 2 Norcross

When: 5 p.m. Tuesday

Records: Lambert (16-13); Norcross (12-11)

What to know: A rematch of last year’s first-round playoff series, Lambert will travel to Norcross looking to avenge last season’s two-game sweep.

A seven-game winning steak at the end of September saw Lambert play its best softball of the season and vaulted the Longhorns toward the top of Region 6-7A. The Longhorns have plenty of young talent in players such as Hannah Cole, Hannah Cornetto and Courtney Sauer, and should be considered a dangerous No. 3 seed. Lambert is coming off a 6-0 win against Lanier, where Cole and Sauer combined for a four-hit shutout. Cole struck out six in three innings, while Sauer’s 3-for-4 day with three RBIs and two runs scored led the Longhorns at the plate.

Norcross finished 6-2 in Region 7-7A, with both losses coming against Archer, the No. 10 team in Class 7A.

No. 4 West Forsyth at No. 1 Archer

When: 4 p.m. Tuesday

Records: West Forsyth (10-19); Archer (19-6)

What to know: West Forsyth draws a tough first-round opponent, as the Wolverines will travel to Class 7A power Archer to start the playoffs.

Grace Mangan leads West in batting average (.414), runs scored (28), stolen bases (27) and owns an 11-game hitting streak, picking up a pair of hits last week against South Forsyth. Sophomore Abby Williams is hitting .400 and is the Wolverines’ top option in the circle, sporting a 4-6 record and 4.97 ERA in 16 appearances.

Archer ran away with Region 7-7A but struggled in non-region play against some of the top Class 7A competition, falling 9-6 to No. 6 Peachtree Ridge, 3-2 to No. 3 Grayson, and 5-4 to No. 2 North Gwinnett.