South Forsyth softball outhit visiting Norcross by a count of 22-0 on Wednesday night on their way to a dominate sweep in the first round of the Class 7-AAAAAAA playoffs.
In Game 1, the War Eagles utilized small ball to mercy-rule Norcross in the fifth inning, winning 8-0. In Game 2, South cracked hit after hit, eventually winning 17-0 in three innings.
Just one season ago, the Lady War Eagles found themselves in a similar spot, but they had a much different position. They won their first round playoff series, but they were coming off one of the most successful seasons in the school’s history. They took home the region title and knew they had a real shot to make a deep run in the state playoffs.
This season, the War Eagles entered with less fanfare. But in Game 1, South played a clean, nearly flawless game to take control of the series.
A constant all season in South’s offense has been its ability to capitalize on small-ball. This reigned true in the first inning when Emily Harris led the game off with a bunt single, stole second base and two sacrifice bunts later scored the first run of the game.
One run was all South needed with Purdue commit Katherine Huey on the mound. The first three innings started a little rocky for Huey, allowing five batters to reach base, but she found her rhythm in the fourth. Huey reeled off seven strikeouts in a row and retired nine straight batters to close out the game with a no-hitter.
South’s offense clinched the game in the bottom of the fifth. Sarah Womack crushed a three-run home run to center field, and Lauren Baccori hit a walk-off double.
“One of the things I gathered from my notes [on Norcross] was that they struggled against small ball,” South head coach Ronnie Davis said. “That was one of the things that we needed to do to get us going in the right direction.”
In the second game, South’s offense took control early and never let up. Emily Harris got the game going with a single to right field, followed by a triple by Jordyn Harris. Five different batters drove in runs in the first inning, and they jumped out to a 5-0 lead.
Lauren Bacarri took the mound, and she was dealing. In her two innings of work, she retired all six batters she faced. Emily Harris continued the no-hitter into the third inning where she retired two more batters and Huey finished the game and capped off a combined no-hitter, the second of the night.
While the pitching was rolling, the offense was even better. In the second and third innings, they added nine more hits and 12 more runs.
“We just wanted to play well,” Davis said. “When we play a complete game, we are a pretty tough team, and we proved that tonight.”