Teams stay alive in playoffs

Ar­muchee and Rock­mart sweep their first round op­po­nents while Pep­perell forces a Game 3.

Rome News-Tribune - - SPORTS - By Tommy Ro­manach Sports Writer TRo­

A trio of lo­cal teams went into the first round of the Class AA state soft­ball playoffs on Wednesday and so far three still re­main alive after their first two games.

Ar­muchee and Rock­mart swept their first round se­ries, with the Lady In­di­ans beat­ing So­cial Cir­cle 6-4 and 6-1 and the Lady Jack­ets beat­ing El­bert County 12-3 and 10-1.

Pep­perell, mean­while, split its opening se­ries with Banks County on the road to force a de­ci­sive third game to­day at 4 p.m.

Ar­muchee won its first game against host So­cial Cir­cle thanks to a five-run fifth in­ning that broke open a 1-1 tie.

The Lady In­di­ans broke an­other 1-1 tie in Game 2 with three runs in the fourth be­fore adding two more be­fore the end of the game.

“This has been years in the

mak­ing,” Ar­muchee coach Shane Arp said. “We’ve been in big sit­u­a­tions on the road like this be­fore, and to­day it was never too big for the girls and they just ex­e­cuted.”

Pitcher Erin Car­ney gave a hard-nosed per­for­mance for Ar­muchee, pitch­ing all 14 in­nings and al­low­ing only eight hits and five runs in the two games. Kar­son Fallin went 3-for-7 for three RBIs on the day, while Kas­sidy Kin­sey and Lily Wat­son each had two hits in Game 2.

This is the third time the Lady In­di­ans (16-11) have made the Sweet 16 in the past four years.

With the win, Ar­muchee is now set to host its sec­ond round se­ries against Tem­ple next week after the No. 4 seed Lady Tigers upset Re­gion 6-AA cham­pion South At­lanta with a two-game sweep of their own Wednesday.

Pep­perell (20-8) had a rough start against Banks County as it only had three hits in a 9-0 loss in the Game 1. But coach Jeff Rick­man knew the team had more in them for the night and told them to keep a clear head for Game 2.

“You just have to keep a short mem­ory,” Rick­man said. “Just know that it takes two (wins) to ad­vance, and they only have one on us. And this team de­cided it was not ready to go home yet, and nei­ther was I.”

The ad­vice paid off in the form of a 7-4 vic­tory for the Lady Dragons in Game 2. Mad­die Clay recorded two hits and an RBI and Anna Cowan had two hits, while pitch­ers Bailey Wright and Syd­nie Ed­wards com­bined to al­low just four runs in seven in­nings.

Rock­mart (29-2) made easy work of El­bert County, and Kelsea El­rod led the way with five hits and six RBIs in the two games. Cam­bree Stan­ley recorded three hits and two RBIs in Game 1, while Caro­line Con­ring had three hits and two RBIs in Game 2.

Pitch­ers Car­lee Gra­ham and Emily Love­less took care of busi­ness on the mound, al­low­ing only four runs in 11 in­nings pitched.

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