South Forsyth at Brookwood
When, where: Wednesday, 5 and 7 p.m., in Snellville; Thursday, TBD, if necessary.
Records, rankings, seedings: South is 22-6-1, ranked No. 10 in Class AAAAAA and the No. 2 seed from Region 6; Brookwood is 26-6-1, ranked No. 3 and the No. 1 seed from Region 8.
What to know: Brookwood won its sixth straight region championship this season thanks in part to pitcher Amanda Ablan. The junior enters with a 23-1-1 record with 287 strikeouts and a 0.61 ERA. In the Lady Broncos’ first-round sweep of Mountain View, Ablan allowed just five hits and one earned run over 12 innings while striking out 14. Junior shortstop Kayla Louie had three RBI in the series and senior third baseman Danna Downs was 4-for-6 with four runs scored and two RBI. It’s a Brookwood team that’s familiar with the atmosphere of the state tournament, finishing fourth overall last season in Columbus.
This South roster is in unchartered territory after sweeping Woodstock, 1-0 and 2-1, in the first round. It’s the first time the Lady War Eagles have advanced to the second round since the GHSA eliminated the sectional format in 2008. They got here behind the pitching duo of Kara Bilodeau and Katherine Huey. Huey in particular came through in the first round. She allowed just four hits, one walk and no earned runs while striking out 16 in 10 2/3 innings between Games 1 and 2. Stephanie Harris had the hot bat for South, going 4-for-6 in the series. And if South is looking for any kernel of optimism against the No. 3 team in Class AAAAAA, consider that two of Brookwood’s losses this season came against Lambert and West Forsyth, teams South defeated in the regular season.
What’s next: The winner advances to Columbus on Oct. 30-Nov. 1 for a double elimination tournament.