Five of the six county schools will be represented in this year’s softball state playoffs and four teams will host first-round playoff series starting on Tuesday night.
Cherokee (18-7, 12-3) won the Region 4AAAAAAA championship last week by defeating Walton 8-0 on the last day of the season. The Lady Warriors are led by a strong senior class and the top four in the Cherokee lineup have feasted off opposing pitching this season. Hope Jiles, Skylar Harrelson and Gracie Mixson are all batting above .300 and have all scored more than 24 runs this season while cleanup hitter Jordyn Stanfill is making a run at Cherokee County player of the year. Stanfill leads Cherokee with 11 home runs and 38 RBIs and has an eye-popping OPS (on-base plus slugging) of 1.544 this season.
Emma Worley has been the ace for Cherokee, posting a 10-1 record with a 2.37 earned run average, but Parker Modica isn’t far behind with a 6-3 record and 2.42 earned run average.
Cherokee is the No. 7-ranked team in Class AAAAAAA and will host Westlake (8-9, 1-5 in Region 2AAAAAAA) in a doubleheader on Wednesday with the first game to start at 4 p.m.
Creekview (23-4, 19-0) is the other Cherokee County team to win its region with the Lady Grizzlies defeating River Ridge (17-11, 14-7) in last week’s Region 6AAAAAA championship. Creekview’s lone senior, Emily Wilkie, will likely be the focus of Creekview's opponents in the playoffs but a handful of underclassmen have played large roles for the Lady Grizzlies including junior Ari Wright and freshman pitcher Anslie Pettit.
Creekview is the No. 4-ranked team in Class AAAAAA and will host Habersham Central (11-11, 7-8 in Region 8AAAAAA) in a doubleheader on Tuesday with the first game to begin at 5 p.m.
River Ridge battled back in the region tournament to make the championship and entering the playoffs the Lady Knights will be led by assembly of young talent. Lily Bell leads River Ridge with 34 hits this season but six different players have at least 22 hits. Gracie Hughes leads the team with nine extra-base hits and three home runs while Cat McCulley leads the team with 18 RBIs. Junior pitcher Sydney Osada posted a regular season record of 13-6 with a 2.04 earned run average and 143 strikeouts in 116.2 innings pitched.
The Lady Knights will host Winder Barrow (9-15, 7-8 in Region 8AAAAAA) in a doubleheader on Tuesday with the first game to begin at 4 p.m.
Etowah (16-8, 11-3) finished in second place in Region 4AAAAAAA behind Cherokee but the Lady Eagles should be a tough out in the state playoffs regardless of the competition. Bri Condon and Paige Patterson, who bat third and fourth for Etowah, have been tough outs all season for opposing pitchers. Condon leads the team with 35 hits and 27 runs scored while Patterson has 34 hits and team-highs in home runs (eight) and RBIs (31) from the cleanup spot. Kinsey Norton and Natalie Harper make up the pitching rotation for Etowah with Norton averaging nine strikeouts per game and posting a 2.28 earned run average.
Etowah will host Campbell (14-15, 3-4 in Region 2AAAAAAA) in a doubleheader on Wednesday with the first game to begin at 5 p.m.
Woodstock (8-13, 5-10) finished fourth in Region 4AAAAAAA and has been led by a number of players this season including Nikki Rogers and Molly Wiggins. They Lady Wolverines will travel to East Coweta (28-0, 7-0 in Region 2AAAAAAA), the No. 1-ranked team in the state, for a doubleheader on Wednesday with the first game to begin at 4:30 p.m.