In round one, South Paulding hosted Salem for two scheduled games on Oct. 10. The Lady Spartans took down the Lady Seminoles 6-0 in game one and 4-2 in game two.
“It was a feeling of great accomplishment, as we have only qualified for state one other time since the school opened,” head softball coach Janet Oglesby said.
She said she was not only pleased with her team getting into the state playoffs, but also with its performance in the first round, despite not always being ahead of Salem.
“I thought we played well, especially defensively. I was proud of them. I was happy with the way we responded in the second game because we were down at two different times in the game, but fought back to take the lead,” Oglesby said.
While the Lady Spartans were able to overcome the down spots in game two, Oglesby said they could have “improved on hitting, especially when runners were in scoring position.”
During the first round, three of the Lady Spartans played well. Ansley Weatherford batted .500 for the two games, AnnDee Priest batted .429 with two RBIs and Madason Messer pitched two complete games with seven strikeouts.
Since South Paulding was the higher seed going into round one, it was able to compete on its home field, and it will get to do the same in round two against Forsyth Central.
“Having the opportunity to host was a memorable experience, as our students, faculty and the community came out and supported us,” Oglesby said.
With this being the first time that any South Paulding team has ever advanced passed the first round, Oglesby said she and her team are “very excited”.
Not only have they advanced to the second round, but they have gotten closer to possibly becoming state champions. However, the Lady Spartans are not letting that crowd their minds as they have chosen to focus their thoughts on the very next game, and no further, the coach said.
“State champion is always the ultimate goal, but we have to take the smaller steps to get there. We are focusing on one game at a time,” Oglesby said.