The No. 6 Lady Trojans (27-7) took the first game, 4-1, with consistent offense, but needed to come back in the nightcap to win 7-6 in eight innings.
“After we got the first game, we felt confident we could win two. Then the second game started out kind of rough for us, but we told them in the dugout, ‘We’re Trojans. We fight. And if you beat us, we’re going to bleed a while, but we’ll keep fighting.’ That’s what we did, kept battling, Katie [Jones] made big pitches and we got hits at the right time,” Carrollton coach Lisa Phillips said.
In the opener, the Lady Trojans picked up runs in the second, third, fifth and seventh to open up a 4-0 lead before the fourth-seeded Lady Warriors (20-9-1) got a run back, but would still fall short.
Jones brought home Alli Hubbard in the second, Hubbard got an RBI fielder’s choice to score Randi Phillips in the third, Brooklyn Emory had an RBI single to score Shelby Yates and Hubbard picked up her second RBI, scoring Randi Phillips in the seventh.
Randi Phillips pitched the entire first game, picking up the win in the circle, and got the starting nod in Game 2, as well.
The second game did not start off well for the visiting Lady Trojans.
Randi Phillips picked up an RBI single to score Taylor Schroeder in the third inning, but Carrollton found itself down 4-1 after four innings.
Carrollton got two back in the fifth, as Hubbard put the ball in play and a Walnut Grove error allowed Randi Phillips and Yates to score, but the Lady Trojans were still down 6-3 going into the bottom of the seventh.
Randi Phillips led off the inning with a home run, and Yates followed the solo shot with a single and Emory was hit by a pitch. Hubbard sacrificed the two over, setting the stage for Samantha McDaniel, who tied the game up with a two-run double.
In the eighth, Jones held the Warriors scoreless while Amelia Cooper came through with the game-winning hit for Carrollton to take the first-round series.
The road doesn’t get any easier, as the Lady Trojans will have to travel to face the No. 1 team in the state in the second round. But after a strong first round, the trip to Northwest Whitfield — which swept 17-0 and 18-0 — doesn’t seem as daunting.
“We beat the [No. 4] team in the state on their home field in two games, so you like your chances. This team is resilient. They came out and played very well [Wednesday]. They set the tone and now they know if they fall behind, they can come back. A lot of things were learned [Wednesday] and a lot of kids made contributions. Just overall a good day for the Trojans,” Lisa Phillips said.
In other state playoff softball action from Wednesday:
No. 3 Bremen 6-8, No. 2 Union County 1-0: The Lady Blue Devils (21-6) put the demons of the Region 5-AA Tournament behind them as they came out with a sweep at Union County in the first round of the Class AA state playoffs.
Bremen was led by quality pitching, where Summer Wallace and Jacquelyn Hightower picked up complete-game wins in Game 1 and Game 2, respectively.
“They put their hearts in it, got their hearts right and played well [Wednesday]. We got two more games next week that we’re going to have to focus on, but if the same team takes the field next week that took the field [Wednesday], then we’ll be OK. Very confident, very humble, but very much in control,” Bremen coach Amy Pointer said.
Bremen will travel to face No. 1 Calhoun next Wednesday in the second round after it swept No. 4 Greater Atlanta Christian.
No. 2 Heard County 8-6, No. 3 Social Circle 0-0: The top-ranked and second-seeded Lady Braves (27-5) swept the Lady Redskins in the Class AA opening-round series, advancing into the round of 16.
Heard County will travel to top-seeded Westminster (15-15) next Wednesday after the Lady Wildcats swept No. 4 Pepperell — 7-1 and 4-2.
Lady Brave freshman hurler Jordan Watson got the win in both contests, allowing just one hit in the opener and three in the nightcap.
“They put the ball in play — actually pretty well — but we just executed on defense,” noted Heard County coach Matt Hornsby. “But Jordan, she was on hitting her spots. As far as her pitching goes, she was hitting her spots in both games. Normally, we’d have switched them up and pitched our senior, Tiffany Smith, in the second game, but Jordan was throwing it as well as she had all year. So we sent her back out there for the second game.”
Offensively, Cali Harrod (3-for-4, 3 2Bs, 2 RBI), Jasmine Jacobs (3-for-4, 2B, 3 RBI), Anna Shelnutt (3-for-3, HR, 3 RBI) and Jasmine Cook (2-for-2, 2B) led the way in the first game, while Alyssa Bishop (2-for-4, 2 RBI), Watson (2-for-3, HR, 3 RBI), Harrod (2-for-4, 3B) and Smith (2-for-4, 2B) paced Heard in the nightcap.
No. 1 Pierce County 5-8, No. 4 Haralson County 0-0: The Rebelettes (8-22) didn’t have enough left in the tank following a late-season run and a five-plus-hour bus ride, as the season ended with a pair of losses at Pierce County in the first round of the Class AAA state playoffs.
Even though the season ended with a sweep, it was still special to make it to the state tournament for only the second time in school history.
“We played better at the end of the season and we beat the team right at the right time,” HC coach Lisa Warren said. “It was exciting for the seniors to get to extend the season into the playoffs. I think the bus ride was pretty tiring, but a lot of people had to travel. We just didn’t have any pop in our bat [Wednesday].”