The Region 6-AAAA and defending Class 4A state champion Heritage Generals opened defense of their title on Tuesday by walloping St. Pius X in two straight games at Heritage High School.
Heritage 15, St. Pius 0
In the opener of the best-of-three series, the Generals scored seven times in each of the first two innings to blow the game wide open.
Madeline Stone and Zoe Wright each had two-run singles in the bottom of the first, while Bailey Christol picked up an RBI-double. Savannah Wilson and Riley Kokinda had two-run doubles in the second inning, while Sarah Haynes knocked in one run with a double.
Adie Ball would end the game in the bottom of the third inning with a walk-off RBI-single.
Stone had three hits in the game for Heritage. Wright finished the opener with two hits and three RBIs. Christol also had two hits, while Carmen Gayler, Lexi Duckett and Morgan Phillips all knocked in one run.
Rachel Gibson struck out seven batters in three innings, allowing just one walk and one hit.
Heritage 16, St. Pius 3
The game was tied 3-3 after three innings of play. Heritage, playing as the visiting team in the nightcap, scored three times in the first inning, but two errors in the bottom of the first helped the Golden Lions score twice to get back in the game. St. Pius would then tie it up with an RBI-double in the third.
But any thoughts that the visitors from Atlanta would have of extending the series to a third game quickly dissolved a half-inning later.
Heritage erupted for 13 runs in the top of the fourth inning. After an initial out, the next nine batters reached base. Wright, Christol and Gayler had doubles, Stone and Duckett each had a single. Kokinda reached base on an error and Bailey Davis had an RBI-triple before Wilson provided the big hit with a two-run inside-the-park homerun.
Stone would later deliver a two-out, three-run double. She would finish 4-for-4 with four RBIs in the game, while Christol also had four hits and finished with two RBIs.
Kokinda and Duckett each had three hits apiece with Duckett picking up a pair of RBIs and Gayler was 2-for-3 with three runs scored and three runs driven in.
Gibson pitched the first three innings to get her second win of the night. She allowed just one earned run on four hits with five strikeouts. Brinley Horner pitched the last inning for Heritage. She gave up one hit and struck out two batters.
Heritage (23-6), ranked No. 1 in the latest Score Atlanta Class 4A poll, will be tested in the second round as No. 3 Eastside comes to Boynton for a three-game series next week. Eastside (25-2) defeated Upson-Lee twice on Tuesday, 8-0 and 12-0.
The winner will head to Columbus for the Elite Eight.