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Softball: Hui sisters rally South to split with Peachtree Ridge
Makenna Segal
South Forsyth junior Makenna Segal, right, is greeted by her teammates at home plate after hitting her second home run of the afternoon Tuesday in a 3-1 win against Peachtree Ridge in the second round of the Class 7A playoffs. - photo by David Roberts

Isabel Hui and Audrey Hui had never been on the same softball team.

Isabel, a senior at South Forsyth, is three grades ahead of Audrey, a freshman, so the two sisters narrowly missed sharing the same teams growing up. 

But on Wednesday, the Hui sisters were part of the same rally, igniting a two-run sixth inning that helped South Forsyth stave off elimination and bury Peachtree Ridge with a 3-1 win. 

The War Eagles, who lost 8-2 in the first game of Wednesday's doubleheader, will play Peachtree Ridge at 5 p.m. tomorrow in a winner-take-all Game 3.

Isabel Hui came to the plate in the sixth inning of Game 2 with the game tied 1-1. She had a pair of hits in the first game, including an RBI double, but was hitless in her three previous at-bats.

"I kind of remembered during the first game I was doing pretty well, and then toward the end of the second game, I was struggling a little bit against her," Isabel Hui said. "So, I was like, 'I need to breathe, I need to refind whatever I lost during that little period of time.' I had to just kind of mentally calm down, because I'm one of those people who gets in my mind really easily, so I had to literally think about nothing and focus on the ball."

Isabel Hui jumped on an Ellie Lunsford pitch, singling up the middle to spark South's rally.

Peachtree Ridge naturally walked the next batter, South junior Makenna Segal, who had tied the game earlier with a solo home run.

Kennedy Ariail laid down a sacrifice bunt, then Katie Traynor brought home Isabel Hui with an RBI groundout to second base.

Then, with Segal at third base and her older sister watching in the dugout, Audrey Hui laced a pitch into the outfield to score Segal and give South a 3-1 lead.

"It's just really cool, because we've never gotten to play together on the same team even though we've always played the same sport," Isabel Hui said. "We're just distanced enough to where we didn't really get to do that earlier, so it's been really fun this entire season having her as my teammate. Having her do something that big, it's always so fun to cheer her on."

Audrey Hui also had a diving catch in right field in the bottom of the frame to preserve South's lead.

"They do a great job picking each other up, pushing each other to make them better," South head coach Leanne Brooks said. "It's a great sister relationship that you don't see very often."

Katie Traynor
South Forsyth junior Katie Traynor, right, celebrates with freshman Emme Souter Wednesday after the final of the War Eagles' 3-1 win against Peachtree Ridge. - photo by David Roberts
Traynor earned the win for the War Eagles (16-18), stifling a red-hot Peachtree Ridge offense by scattering five hits and an unearned run over seven innings. Traynor also pitched 2 2/3 innings of relief in Game 1, giving up one unearned run on two hits.

Traynor recorded the final out of the game when she snared a Kennedy Harp comebacker, retiring the batter who hit a towering two-run home run in her first at-bat. That led to a series of intentional walks by the War Eagles, until Harp came to the plate with two outs in a 3-1 game.

"We knew going in that she was the one I was told, 'Don't let her beat you.' So, Game 1 she hit a home run," Brooks said. "But we knew in that situation, even if she hit a home run, it was still a 3-2 ballgame. So, we as coaches had the approach that we have to pitch to her, of course, and hope for the best."

Makenna Segal
South Forsyth junior Makenna Segal swings at a pitch Wednesday during the War Eagles' 8-2 to Peachtree Ridge in Game 1 of a doubleheader. - photo by David Roberts
Segal led South at the plate, singling in her first at-bat of Game 1, then scoring on Isabel Hui's double. She also launched a pair of solo home runs and reached base with a walk and another single before Peachtree Ridge decided to intentionally walk her late in Game 2.

"We had no idea Game 1 if they were going to throw to her, based on what other people told them," Brooks said. "And so, we kind of floated around with her in the lineup. When they just walk her, we put her leadoff so we're starting with someone on. Then, when we saw in Game 1 when they were pitching to her, we changed things up."

Freshman Emme Souter reached base in all three at-bats in Game 2, singling, doubling and reaching on catcher's interference.

The War Eagles committed three errors in Game 1 but cleaned up their defensive play in Game 2, committing one error.

"We talked a lot in between games. We had to change it, or we were going to be done," Brooks said. "I was very blunt with them."

Ansley Chiang
South Forsyth shortstop Ansley Chiang throws the ball to first base Wednesday during the War Eagles' 3-1 win against Peachtree Ridge. - photo by David Roberts
Freshman Ansley Chiang impressed at shortstop in Game 2, working around an early error to record four outs.

Ariail also flashed her leather in center field, making a couple of highlight-reel plays late in Game 2. 

South is in the same situation it was in last week, when the War Eagles split the first two games against Brookwood before winning the series in Game 3.

"I wouldn't say we played our worst in Game 1, but we weren't our best in the box. We could've hit much better than we did, and we were able to find it Game 2," Brooks said. "So, going in to Game 3, it's a do-or-die situation. They're really excited for the potential to move on, of course, because they're such a young team. The majority of our girls have never experienced it; only one of them has. So I think that's pushing them."