West Forsyth at Pope
When, where: Wednesday, 5:00 and 7:00 p.m.; Thursday, 6:00 p.m. (if necessary) at Pope High School in Marietta.
Records, rankings, seedings: West Forsyth is 17-11 overall, the No. 3 seed from Region 6-AAAAAA and unranked; Pope is 24-8, the No. 2 seed from Region 5-AAAAAA and ranked No. 6.
What to know: Pope pitcher Kelly Barnhill is probably not who West Forsyth wanted to see in the first round of the state playoffs. The Greyhounds’ senior was the GACA Class AAAAA state pitcher of the year in 2013 and the runner-up for that award in 2012; she’s considering opportunities to play at Stanford and Florida. Barnhill is 21-5 on the season with an ERA of 0.54, 403 strikeouts (40 walks) and a batting average against of just .077; she has experience pitching in the postseason dating back to her freshman year.
West will need a few big performances from pitcher Kelly Carpenter if the Lady Wolverines hope to advance. Carpenter finished the year 13-7 with a 3.35 ERA in 117 innings (13 starts). Mandy Thompson pitched to a 3.09 ERA in 43 innings (nine starts). Coach Justin Rickett’s team plays mostly small ball—Kayla Hardy hit all three home runs for West this season—so Lady Wolverines shortstop Bailley Concatto’s (.419, 20 RBI, 10 SB) ability to get on base in front of Hardy (.363, 24 RBI) and Alana Frye (.364, 18 RBI, 10 2B), among others, will be crucial. Should West advance to the second round, Collins Hill likely will be next; Collins Hill beat West twice this season, 8-3 and 6-5.
Who’s next: The winner will play the Shiloh-Collins Hill winner.