When high school softball teams start practice in late July or early August, they set out with one main goal…make it to the postseason.
For four local teams, that goal can now be checked off the list. Now, it’s time to focus on the next one…be one of the last teams standing in late October.
Armuchee, Pepperell, Coosa and Darlington have all punched their ticket to the GHSA State Softball Tournament in their respective classifications, and they will each open what they hope to be a long postseason run with first-round matchups this week.
Here is a look at each of the matchups featuring local teams with a little info to get you ready for what to expect:
Class AA Pepperell (14-6) at Heard County (18-8)
SERIES INFO: The series will begin with a doubleheader on Tuesday starting at 4 p.m. If a Game 3 is necessary, it will be played on Wednesday at 5 p.m.
SEEDS: Pepperell is the No. 3 seed from Region 7-AA; Heard County is the No. 2 seed from Region 5-AA.
STATE RANKINGS: Pepperell – No. 12 in the MaxPreps Class AA rankings; Heard County – No. 4.
PEPPERELL INFO: The Lady Dragons have been one of the hottest teams in northwest Georgia in the last few weeks, finishing the regular season by winning 10 of their final 11 games. …Their pitching and defense has been incredible this season as they have only given up 37 total runs, had 15 games allowing three or fewer runs and compiled eight shutouts. … Pepperell is in the postseason for the seventh straight season and looking to advance to the second round for the third time in the last four years.
HEARD COUNTY INFO: The Lady Braves are also playing very good softball as winners of 11 of their last 12 games going into the postseason. …They have had some very big offensive days this season, scoring eight or more runs in 11 games. …Heard County has advanced to Columbus three straight years, including winning the Class AA State Championship last season.
RN-T Pick: Heard County wins the series in three games.
Coosa (10-7) at Bremen (17-7)
SERIES INFO: The series will begin with a doubleheader on Tuesday starting at 5 p.m. If a Game 3 is necessary, it will be played on Wednesday at a time TBA.
SEEDS: Coosa is the No. 4 seed from Region 7-AA; Bremen is the No. 1 seed from Region 5-AA.
STATE RANKINGS: Coosa – No. 22 in the MaxPreps Class AA rankings; Bremen – No. 5.
COOSA INFO: After starting the season 7-1, the Lady Eagles have struggled over the final few weeks of the season, winning three of their final nine games. …They are in the playoffs for the second straight season. … Coosa has depended heavily on their pitching and defense in 2021 as they have allowed three or fewer runs 12 times, including four shutouts.
BREMEN INFO: The Lady Devils had separate winning streaks of six and eight games during the regular season, but have lost two of their last three going into the state tournament. …They are looking to advance to Columbus to the Elite Eight for the third straight season. …Bremen has scored 10 or more runs in 11 games in 2021.
RN-T Pick: Bremen wins the series in three games.
Class A Public Armuchee (9-15-1) at Commerce (17-6)
SERIES INFO: The series will begin with a doubleheader on Wednesday starting at 4:30 p.m. If a Game 3 is necessary, it will be played on Thursday at a time TBA.
SEEDS: Armuchee is the No. 3 seed from Region 6-A Public; Commerce is the No. 2 seed from Region 8-A Public.
STATE RANKINGS: Armuchee – No. 44 in the MaxPreps Class A rankings; Commerce – No. 10.
ARMUCHEE INFO: After an up and down first part of the season, it looks like the Lady Indians have found their stride, winning two straight and three out of their last four as they enter the postseason. …They have been led by the hitting trio of Kelsey Wooten, Izzy Espy and Kelsie Burkett, who are all batting above .300 for the season and have combined for more than 60 hits and 34 RBIs. … Armuchee is back in the State playoffs for the first time since 2017 when they made a trip to the Elite Eight in Columbus.
COMMERCE INFO: The Lady Tigers have been an offensive juggernaut in 2021, outscoring their opponents 208-69 and scoring eight or more runs in 16 games. …They have been playing good softball down the stretch as winners of six of their last seven and 10 of their last 12 games. …Commerce is trying to get to the Elite Eight in Columbus for the third straight season.
RN-T PICK: Commerce wins the series in three games.
Class A Private Darlington (6-11) at Savannah Christian (9-7)
SERIES INFO: The series will begin with a doubleheader on Wednesday starting at 1 p.m. If a Game 3 is necessary, it will be played on Thursday with a time TBA.
SEEDS: Darlington is the No. 18 seed; Savannah Christian is the No. 15.
STATE RANKINGS: Darlington – No. 55 in the MaxPreps Class A rankings; Savannah Christian – No. 35.
DARLINGTON INFO: The Lady Tigers have struggled a bit of late, losing four of their last five games, but did earn a 10-9 win over Landmark Christian in their final regular-season game last Tuesday. …They have scored 10 or more runs in all six wins this season but have allowed 10 or more runs in six of their losses. … Darlington is back in the playoffs for the first time since two season ago (2019) when they lost in the first round to Mt. Paran Christian.
SAVANNAH CHRISTIAN INFO: The Lady Raiders seem to be playing their best softball at the right time as they enter the state tournament on a five-game winning streak. …They have shown the ability to put up big offensive numbers, scoring eight or more runs in eight games in 2021. …Savannah Christian has made quite a turnaround this season after going winless in 2020 at 0-17-1.
RN-T PICK: Savannah Christian wins the series in three games.