A spot in the Class AA state playoffs awaited the Armuchee Lady Indians if they had defeated Dade County at home Tuesday in the continuation of a game that started three weeks ago.
Instead, they’ll have to take the long way — literally — to try and wrap up a postseason berth.
After Armuchee’s 12-2 loss to the Region 7-AA runner-up Lady Wolverines, a trio of Floyd County softball teams enter the final game of the regular season with a shot at making the playoffs.
Armuchee is the only one out of the three in control of its own destiny, while Pepperell and Model face off in Shannon on Wednesday needing The Lady Indians to lose their game against Dade County to give them an opportunity to make the postseason.
Armuchee head coach Shane Arp knows it will be tough for his team to make the extended trip to Trenton on Wednesday and take to the field for the third day in a row, but he challenged them following Tuesday’s loss.
“My words to the girls were, ‘How quick can you wash it?’ Because we hold the keys to our future tomorrow. We push all in for one game tomorrow,” Arp said. “Fortunately, we’re still in a position where one win and we’re in. We’ll see what happens, but the biggest thing is to have a short memory and forget about this.”
Play resumed Tuesday at the start of the sixth inning with the score 2-2 after Dade had tied it up on Sept. 10 before inclement weather forced the end of the game to be delayed.
Dade County (15-6, 11-2 7-AA) added two runs in the top of the sixth and then batted around to add eight more in the seventh. Armuchee (9-9, 6-7) had a base runner in each inning but was unable to get them around to score.
The Lady Indians never struck out and had three flyouts to the outfield in the sixth. Kelsey Wooten got a hit in the sixth and Whitney Sanford drew a walk in the seventh.
“Hats off to Dade County. They got off the bus swinging it,” Arp said. “They put pressure on us, and we didn’t make the plays behind them. We squared up on a couple of hits in those two innings, but they didn’t find holes.”
Armuchee pitcher Sarah Barnes finished the game she started three weeks prior to mark her second outing in as many days after Armuchee’s 12-0 win over Gordon Central on Monday that was completed in four innings because of the run rule.
Arp said he expects to give the senior the ball again Wednesday to start the game their second game against Dade County.
“I don’t know how long she can go. But that kid has poured five years of heart and soul into a program. She deserves a chance to go out on a big win and pitch her team into the state playoffs,” Arp said.
A win in the rematch with the Lady Wolverines will give Armuchee the undisputed claim to the region’s No. 4 seed in the state playoffs. The Lady Indians last made the postseason in 2017 when they advanced to the Elite Eight in Columbus.
If Armuchee loses Wednesday, it can lead to one of two outcomes.
A Model win over Pepperell will give the Lady Blue Devils the No. 4 spot according to Arp.
Pepperell defeating Model would lead to Armuchee and Pepperell having the same region record (6-8) but the two teams split their head-to-head contests this season.
The playoff spot would then come down to fewest runs allowed in region games, according to the region’s by-laws. Going into Wednesday’s games, Armuchee has allowed 74 runs against region opponents, while Pepperell has allowed 64.