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Softball: South Forsyth crowned Region 6-7A champion
South Forsyth War Eagles
The South Forsyth War Eagles softball team poses with the Region 6-7A trophy Thursday at home. - photo by Derrick Richemond

South Forsyth took an early 5-0 lead in Game 2 of the Region 6-7A championship series and rode with it the rest of the way, defeating the Denmark 7-3 Thursday at home.

Having completed the series sweep, the War Eagles earned the title and a No. 1 seed for the Class 7A state playoffs.

“It feels amazing,” South Forsyth head coach Leanne Brooks said on being region champions. “Coming into the season, we didn't anticipate finishing undefeated in region. With this group of seniors, it’s such a big class, I couldn’t ask for a better season. Two years ago today, we won region, so it’s a great day.”

Said War Eagles pitcher Josie Crossman, “I know we put in a lot of work. This year has been really great for us. We continued to produce when we really needed it and I'm really proud of our team.”

After Emma Souter got a walk, the bases were loaded for the War Eagles (21-6), and that’s when Kennedy Ariail doubled on a 3-1 count, bringing in Ansley Chiang and Andrey Hui. Next at bat was Charlotte Brooks, who hit the ball toward the left side and brought Souter home.

Crossman tacked on two RBIs, with Ariail and Brooks reaching home plate, for a 5-0 lead in the top of the first.

“I didn't know what to fully expect,” coach Brooks said on the early lead. "Last week when we went to Denmark’s place, we had a similar game, where we scored six in the first. It is amazing the difference that a game makes when you come out and score like that. It sets the tone, lets you relax a little bit more, but I couldn’t ask for a better start."

The Danes (13-11) swapped pitchers by putting Annalise Knop in the circle in relief. She was able to retire Chiang to bring the inning to an end.

South Forsyth War Eagles softball team celebrating with the Region 6-7A Trophy.
The South Forsyth War Eagles softball team celebrates with the Region 6-7A trophy. - photo by Derrick Richemond

The Danes were able to get two runs of their own in the first, when Knop got a double and brought in Ellery Campbell and Avery Callaway to cut the lead to 5-2.

In the bottom of the second inning, the Danes had an opportunity to score when Jordan Williams made contact with the softball that rolled over to the corner of the field for a double. Williams advanced to third, but Crossman quickly retired the side by striking out Campbell.

As Ariail swung her bat with force, she recorded a triple, and Brooks replicated it to bring Ariail home for her second run of the game to expand the lead to 6-2.

After an RBI double by Grace Welicky in the sixth, the Danes were able to close the gap to 6-3.

Nevertheless, Megan Lochhead's RBI single in the seventh caused cheers in the crowd, as Brooks reached home plate for the final run.

Brooks had a great time at the plate, going 3-for-3 to lead the War Eagles in hits. Additionally, she tied with Crossman and Ariail in RBIs with two each. Ariail and Brooks led South’s offense in runs scored with two.

Callaway led the Danes in runs with two, and Knop led in RBIs with two.

Crossman was the winner in the circle, as she allowed five hits and three runs over seven innings while striking out five.

“I was proud of it,” the left-hander said of her performance. "This year was really great for me, because I found out how to really push through those tough situations when they got on base."