Pepperell softball

Pepperell’s Jolie Splendore and the Lady Dragons will open the Class AA state playoffs with a road matchup against Heard County.

While the prep softball season has come and gone for a lot of teams, some local squads are getting ready to make the most of the postseason.

Pepperell, Rockmart and Chattooga are representing Region 7-AA as the Class AA state playoffs get underway with best-of-three series scheduled for Tuesday. Any if-necessary Game 3s will take place Wednesday.

The No. 4-seeded Lady Dragons (12-9) will hit the road to take on Heard County, the top seed from Region 5-AA. It will be the fifth straight season Pepperell has made the playoffs and head coach Jeff Rickman said it is a reward for how his team has played this season.

“That’s always one of our goals at the start of every season is to make it to October,” Pepperell head coach Jeff Rickman said. “I’m very excited for the kids. They’ve worked hard in order to get us a chance to play in October.”

Pepperell closed out the regular season with an 8-0 win against Model, during which sophomore pitcher Chloe Jones struck out 12 batters. Jones has been the Lady Dragons’ ace this season, with well over 100 strikeouts.

The Lady Braves (21-6) won the Region 5-AA championship for the second year in a row this season and have won five of their last six contests.

“They’re a good ball club, but we’re going to go down there and swing it and give ourselves a chance,” Rickman said. “We’ve worked hard to have this chance, so we’ll just see what happens on Tuesday.”

The 7-AA champion Rockmart Lady Yellow Jackets (23-3) have won eight straight games as they host their first-round playoff series against No. 4 seed Callaway. The Lady Jackets take finished region play with a 14-0 record claiming their fourth straight region title.

Chattooga (15-8) will visit Lamar County in the opening round as the No. 3 seed in Region 7-AA. The Lady Indians take a five-game winning streak into the playoffs.

Cedartown (17-15) takes the No. 3 seed out of Region 5-4A and will face Flowery Branch on the road in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs. The Lady Bulldogs are riding a wave of momentum having won five of their last six games.

Darlington (1-16) was ranked No. 23 Saturday evening in the GHSA Class A Private Power Ratings, which would advance the Lady Tigers to the Class A Private state playoffs.

The top 24 teams in the ratings are seeded in the state playoffs.

Trion (18-3) is currently ranked No. 4 in the Class A Public Ratings, which would earn the Lady Bulldogs a bye through the first round in the Class A Public state playoffs.

Power ratings will be finalized Monday, with all Class A state playoffs not scheduled to start until Wednesday.

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