Forsyth County sent four teams to the first round of the GHSA state playoffs Wednesday night. Only one team woke up Thursday with games left to play.
South Forsyth, seeded as a No. 1 team, swept Peachtree Ridge at home to close a best-of-three series and advance to the second round. The Lady War Eagles won Game 1 in six innings, 8-0, before using a familiar late comeback to prevent a Game 3.
Sophomore Jordyn Harris, who went 5 for 5 at the plate on the day, saved her best offense for last with the game tied 1-1 in the top of the seventh inning. Harris knocked a sharp roller off of first base and into right field to score Kayla Mayoros, pinch running for Kelley Bagarose. Then, Harris doubled the scoring margin when she squeezed in between the pitcher and catcher to score off a passed ball, giving South a 3-1 lead.
Starting pitcher Katherine Huey, who allowed just six hits in 13 full innings on the night, sat down Peachtree Ridge's last three batters, including a strikeout to end the game, to send the Lady War Eagles to the next round.
The tying run came in the sixth, when Huey came home off a dropped ball by Peachtree Ridge's center fielder.
South head coach Ronnie Davis knew his team had the capability to put away Game 2 after countless sluggish innings, including three that ended in failed scoring chances. His confidence goes back to many close region games the Lady War Eagles played in during the regular season.
“We battled in there, and I think playing the competition in our region, with the (Forsyth) teams in the playoffs especially, just playing in tight games, our kids are prepared for it and seem to be comfortable in it. That's the first and foremost thing is just being comfortable in a playoff environment.
“We might have pressed a bit in the middle innings, especially with it being in a second game, but I feel like in the fifth we calmed down and I told them, 'don't try to do anything that you're not capable of. Just be yourself,' and they responded.”
South will face Newnan in the second round, which begins Oct. 21. Lambert, North Forsyth and West Forsyth were all swept by Region 7 schools in Mill Creek, Collins Hill and North Gwinnett, respectively, to get eliminated from the postseason.
Huey was dominant in Game 1, pitching a two-hitter with four strikeouts and just one walk allowed. South's Sophia Tapia led the way at the plate, finishing a home run away from the cycle on a 3-for-3 effort. Tapia also stole home to make the score 5-0 in the bottom of the fifth inning, finishing with two runs scored along with an RBI.
South opened the scoring in the previous inning, as Tapia scored off a double from Jordin Englar. Lauren Bacarri doubled in the next plate appearance to score Anna O'Connor. Tapia's triple in the fifth scored Bianca Mora, while Emily Harris also scored in the fifth off a sacrifice fly from Huey.
South added three more runs in the sixth when Peachtree Ridge's Calie Barber went in for relief of starter Jenna White and gave up three walks and a single.