It took some help, but the Pepperell softball team will be heading back to the Class AA state playoffs for the fifth year in a row.
With a three-team race for the No. 4 seed from Region 7-AA coming down to Wednesday’s game, the Lady Dragons did their part by defeating Model 8-0 in five innings, avenging a 6-0 loss to the Lady Blue Devils from earlier this season.
Pepperell then waited for word from Trenton, where Armuchee lost to host Dade County 8-0.
With both Pepperell and Armuchee finishing with a 6-8 region record and splitting their head-to-head contests this season, the tiebreaker came down to fewest runs allowed in region games. Armuchee ends the season allowing 82 runs, while Pepperell allowed 64.
“They’re excited. They’ve worked hard for this, and I’m glad that they get the reward of making the state playoffs again,” Pepperell coach Jeff Rickman said about his players. “I’m very proud of the girls. I told them all we can do is take care of us, but we’ve got to go out and win to have a chance. They responded very well.”
Pepperell sophomore Chloe Jones continued her stellar season by striking out 12 and allowing just two hits against Model. She also had two RBIs to help her cause offensively.
Cailey Mansell had three hits, Jacey Blanton had two hits and two RBIs, and Dahlia Sanford had two hits and an RBI. Pepperell (12-9) used a seven-run fourth inning to break open the game.
Model finishes the season with a 6-15 overall record and 5-9 in the region.
Pepperell will have to wait to find out where they will travel to for the first round of the playoffs next Tuesday. Region 5-AA will hold its region tournament tomorrow to determine its top four teams.
The top three seeds from Region 7-AA are Rockmart, Dade County and Chattooga, in that order. Rockmart and Dade County will host their first round playoff series next week, while Chattooga will go on the road.
In other action:
Cass 8, Rome 0
Rome High’s season came to an end Wednesday as they Lady Wolves lost 8-0 to Cass at Woodland High School as part of the Region 7-5A tournament.
Rome’s Maci Andrews struck out five in the five innings against the Lady Colonels. The Lady Wolves end the season with a 4-22 record.