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Local softball teams get ready for playoffs
by Greg Oshust
October 15, 2013 05:01 PM | 2127 views | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Samantha M. Shal<br>
Lovett's Rachael Western crosses home plate to score a run during the Lions' Region 6AA tournament game with Westminster last Wednesday.
Staff / Samantha M. Shal
Lovett's Rachael Western crosses home plate to score a run during the Lions' Region 6AA tournament game with Westminster last Wednesday.
Having survived the gauntlet of the regular season and region tournaments, a handful of local softball teams are ready for the final stage as they get set for the state softball playoffs.

Each team will play best-of-three first-round series, with the first two games today and a third game – if needed – Thursday.

Marist (18-10) looks to contend for the Class AAAA championship after winning the 6AAAA tournament.

The War Eagles won their region in convincing fashion, defeating Redan 13-0 in the championship game last Thursday.

Marist hosts Lumpkin County, the fourth seed from 8AAAA, in a first-round series and the team that eliminated the War Eagles from AAAA state playoffs in the second round last year.

“I feel good about where we are,” Marist coach Mike Trapani said. “We played a very difficult schedule. We’re a very junior/senior-laden team and making it to the second round last year, I felt like all the pieces were in place [for this season].

“Now, that we have made it to state, we have to raise our game from where we were in the region tournament.”

Woodward (10-16-1) will play in the AAA playoffs after winning the 6AAA tournament.

The War Eagles will be joined by St. Pius X (14-14), who they swept in two games – 8-1 and 6-5 – in the 6AAA finals.

Woodward will host Oconee County, the third seed from 8AAA, while St. Pius plays host to Morgan County, the second seed from 8AAA, in first-round series.

Lovett (12-14-1) enters the AA playoffs as the second seed from 6AA after finishing runner-up in the region tournament.

The Lions advanced to the finals with a 9-1 victory over Westminster last Wednesday before losing to Wesleyan 11-9 in the finals.

Lovett stays home for its first-round series with Union County, the third seed from 8AA.

Westminster (19-10) joins its Buckhead archrival in the AA playoffs as the third seed from 6AA.

The Wildcats will try to bounce back from a disappointing performance in the 6AA tournament – including a 16-5 defeat at the hands of Wesleyan as well as its loss to Lovett – as they travel to Jefferson, the second seed from 8AA.

“We’ve got to go on the road as the No. 3 seed and experience that playoff atmosphere in a difficult environment,” Westminster coach Brent McGuire said. “So it will be a new challenge for us. But, certainly, we’re ready.

“I think we’re going to be a determined team, knowing the fact that in our last two ball games, we certainly didn’t play anywhere close to our capability and hopefully, we have gotten it out of our system.

“We’re going to be ready to go and we’re looking forward to the challenge.”

Class A private school teams Pace, Mount Vernon Presbyterian and Holy Innocents’ await their postseason fate when the final GHSA power poll is released today.

The top 16 teams qualify for the Class A private school playoffs, which begin with first-round, best-of-three series Oct. 23 and 24. In the final poll, Pace is seventh, while Mount Vernon is 10th and Holy Innocents' is 11th.

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