A top-ranked Rockmart Lady Jackets squad hit all over the field against the Callaway Lady Cavaliers in a pair of wins to open the Class AA softball state playoffs.
The Lady Jackets put up 33 runs in just eight innings of work Tuesday over two games as they move on to the Sweet 16.
Rockmart won 12-0 in Game 1, and rolled to a 19-1 win in Game 2.
Three Rockmart players put up home runs on the day — a Caroline Conring two-run shot over the fence in Game 1, then two more with a homer from Kinsey Jones and a grand slam by Megan Johnson in Game 2.
“They were beautiful home runs,” Rockmart head coach Steve Luke said. “Caroline’s was huge in the first game, and Kinsey’s set the tone in the second. When we start clicking, it gets fun. But with each round, it gets harder. So we’re fighting in each game, and this is the kind of performance we’re looking for.”
Pitching performances from Emilee Register and Carlee Graham kept the Callaway bats quiet for the most part. The Lady Cavaliers got on base in the first game off of a hit in the top of the third, and got on base with errors, a single and an RBI single to score their only run of the series in the third inning.
Register ended with four strikeouts, one walk and gave up the only hit on the night. Graham let the run over the plate, but otherwise only gave up two hits, one walk and struck out four in the playoff performance.
The Lady Jackets (25-3) will next face the winner of the Brooks County-East Laurens series in the second round.
In other prep action:
Pepperell ousted by Heard CountyThe Pepperell softball team was ousted Tuesday in the first round of the Class AA state playoffs, falling in a doubleheader to top-seeded Heard County on the road.
Fourth seed Pepperell fell 7-2 in Game 1, then was defeated 11-1 in Game 2.
In Game 1, Ansley Farmer had an RBI, while the Lady Dragons were held to just two hits.
Chloe Jones struck out seven in the Game 1 loss.
The Lady Dragons finish the season with a 12-11 overall record.
Chattooga falls to Lamar CountyAfter the Chattooga softball team was shut out in Game 1 of its first-round series against Lamar County, the Lady Indians looked to have control of Game 2 before the Lady Trojans rallied in the eighth inning for the win.
Chattooga was blanked 6-0 in Game 1 on the road Tuesday, then lost 6-3 in Game 2 when Lamar County put up four runs in the eighth inning.
The third-seeded Lady Indians, tied 2-2 before the final inning, put up one more run in the eighth, but the rally fell short against No. 2 seed Lamar County.
Chattooga ends the season with a 15-10 overall record.
VOLLEYBALL Rome comes up short in area tournament
The Rome High volleyball team opened the Area 7-5A tournament on a high note topping Hiram in a reverse sweep, but lost its next two matches to end its season.
The eighth-seeded Lady Wolves lost to top-seeded Kell in the second match of the day then fell to No. 5 Paulding County. Both matches were lost in two sets.
First-year head coach Katie Price said she was proud to see her team improve and grow over the season.
“I saw so much growth out of each individual girl on and off the court,” Price said. “You’re not going to remember the wins and the losses. You’re going to remember the memories. They have grown very close this year, and they had great chemistry.”
MONDAY Darlington falls in area tournament
After opening with a loss, the Darlington volleyball team tried to battle its way back in the Area 6-AA/A Private tournament, but fourth-seeded Mount Bethel ended the Lady Tigers’ season.
The fifth-seeded Lady Tigers dropped their opening match against No. 3 North Cobb Christian 25-13, 25-15, then defeated No. 7 Whitefield Academy 17-25, 25-14, 15-9 to earn a shot at a spot in the state playoffs, before falling to Mount Bethel 25-17, 25-20.
After a rough start to the season, the Lady Tigers began picking up speed as they came into the area tournament.
“It was a rough way to lose, but we play in one of the toughest areas in the state,” Darlington head coach Jared Willerson said. “For these kids to keep fighting after the start we had — it’s a testament to their character. I wish it had turned out better for them, but it wasn’t in the cards. My heart breaks for them.”
The Lady Tigers (16-23) led in the second set 19-17 before the Lady Eagles rallied to close out the match.