CANTON — Creekview’s softball team punched its ticket to the final eight of the Class AAAAAA state tournament after sweeping a doubleheader from Brunswick last Wednesday, 14-0 and 9-0.
In the opening game, the Lady Grizzlies scored five runs in the first inning and six runs in the second to take a commanding 11-0 lead. The team tallied 11 hits and took advantage of seven Brunswick errors.
The fast start offensively for the team is something that Creekview coach Jennifer Maloney has been working on the entire season.
“The first couple of innings set the tone for the rest of the game,” Maloney said. “We’ve been challenging our girls all year to have a sense of urgency early in the game, and they did a great job of coming out with a bang (Wednesday) night.”
Creekview (27-4) took a patient approach at the plate in both games, with the intent to get on base and move the runners over. This approach proved to be the deciding factor as the Lady Grizzlies drew a combined 15 walks over 9½ innings in the two games.
“As the season went on, we challenged our girls to swing at good pitches early in the count and to have patience and to not swing at pitchers’ pitches,” Maloney said. “I think they did a very good job at taking what was given to them.”
Home runs helped Creekview to the Game 2 victory.
Through three innings, the Lady Grizzlies led 2-0 and it wasn’t until a solo homer by Ari Wright that the offense was able to get going. Wright, Emily Wilkie and Ella Campbell combined for four homers, ultimately putting the game away.
“Earlier in the season, we popped a lot of balls up, so we have been working really hard on swinging at good pitches and hitting line drives,” Maloney said. “In Game 2, we made adjustments that allowed for accurate timing when swinging at the pitches, since we had seen their pitcher in the first game.”
Creekview only gave up two hits total across both games, not allowing Brunswick to steal the momentum at any point in either game.
“Both pitchers did a very good job of getting ahead in the count and mixing up pitches that played to their strengths,” Maloney said.
The Lady Grizzlies will play at 2 p.m. Thursday against Evans (25-5) at the South Commons Softball Complex, looking to continue their quest for their second state title in three years.
“Whenever you get to the elite eight, you know you’ll face great competition,” Maloney said. “We’re just going to go out there and do what we do best, and that’s play Creekview softball.”