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Paulding County softball teams shine in state playoffs
by Marcel Pourtout
mpourtout@neighbornewspapers.com
October 30, 2013 12:03 PM | 1153 views | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Marcel Pourtout<br>South Paulding pitcher Justice Smith warms up before playoff contest against Windere-Barrow last week.
Staff / Marcel Pourtout
South Paulding pitcher Justice Smith warms up before playoff contest against Windere-Barrow last week.
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The Paulding County and South Paulding softball teams, both in Region 5-AAAAA, participated in the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) playoffs in the past two weeks, culminating stellar 2013 campaigns for both squads.

Paulding County (14-16) came into the playoffs off a third-place finish in the region and had separate winning streaks of four and five games respectively during the regular season. The Patriots traveled to Sequoyah on Oct. 16 for the first round of the postseason and emerged with two straight wins in the best-of-three series by scores of 1-0 and 6-3.

“We played almost flawless defense during the region playoffs and our win over Sequoyah was similar,” Paulding County assistant coach Leigh Becigneul said. “We played extremely solid defense and several of our players came through offensively in clutch moments.”

The Patriots’ season ended in the second round when they dropped two contests to visiting Winder-Barrow on Oct. 23.

They will lose the services of two graduating seniors, including catcher Alyssa Strobel but will return several top players for 2014 such as pitchers Olivia Ashley, Justice Smith, who also plays shortstop, third baseman Hannah Trombley and centerfielder Ivy Wellborn.

“Because our team is relatively young, we’re really looking forward to the girls honing their offensive skills while continuing to strengthen the cohesiveness of the defense,” Becigneul said. “We have a lot of talent and it will be exciting to watch them mature and become better than they already are.”

South Paulding (21-15) finished runner-up in the region tournament and hosted the Pope Greyhounds in the first round of the playoffs on Oct. 16. After Pope won the first game of the best-of-three series 5-0, the Spartans responded with a 3-0 win in the second contest, forcing a decisive game on Oct. 18. South Paulding ultimately dropped the third and final game, 8-1, ending its season. It was the Spartans second-consecutive appearance in the playoffs.

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