Playoffs set for local softball teams

The 2021 regular season is officially in the books, and the playoff slates have been released by GHSA. Here are the first round matchups. First round games are scheduled to take place between October 12-14. In total, 8 out of 11 of our local teams are in the playoffs.

#1 BANKS COUNTY vs #4 CORETTA SCOTT KING

The Lady Leopards (8-8) didn’t even get a full season’s worth of games, but they won the ones that mattered. In region play, Banks was 5-1 on the way to its SIXTH region title (regular season and/or region tournament) since 2014, and is now in the playoffs for a program record fifth straight season. Coretta Scott King (9-7) is the potential victim in the first round.

#2 COMMERCE vs #3 ARMUCHEE

The Lady Tigers (17-6) finished as region runner-up, and host Armuchee (9-15-1). Commerce should take this first round quickly. Commerce has been to the postseason 5 years in a row now, and after last season’s runner-up finish at state, it’s a veteran group looking to win it all.

#4 DAWSON COUNTY @ #1 WESTMINSTER

The Lady Tigers (11-18) came up clutch when it mattered most, even beating powerhouse White County to get in to the postseason. Now comes a huge ask in going to Westminster (17-4), an annual frontrunner to take the hardware. Dawson is back for the first time since 2018 in the playoffs.

#4 HABERSHAM CENTRAL @ #1 POPE

The Lady Raiders (13-14) earned the final playoff spot out of region 8-AAAAAA. This marks the third straight playoff run for Hab Central, a first in at least 2 decades, if not longer. Pope (26-2) is ridiculously good, and will be major contenders for the state title.

#3 JEFFERSON @ #2 ARABIA MOUNTAIN

The Lady Dragons (13-9) earned the 3-spot out of 8-AAAA and are forced to travel for the first round. Don’t count Jefferson out though, as Arabia Mountain (10-3) hasn’t played quite as much this season and the Lady Dragons, as we all know, are talented and have plenty of deep playoff experience. This is the program’s 7th straight playoff run.

#4 RABUN COUNTY @ #1 LOVETT

The Lady Wildcats (4-13) did enough to get into the playoffs, where now anything is possible. Lovett (18-11) was about unbeaten in region play, but outside of region showed some chink in the armor. This marks a third consecutive postseason run for Rabun.

#3 UNION COUNTY @ #2 PACE ACADEMY

Union County (9-8) was the regular season runner-up in the region, but fell to #3 with a loss to Elbert. Pace Academy (17-7-1) is a favorite in this series, but the Lady Panthers definitely have the ability to pull off an upset. It’s now 14 playoff trips in the past 16 years for Union, and 4 straight.

#3 WHITE COUNTY @ #2 SANDY CREEK

The Lady Warriors (21-5) are the best 3-seed in the state, hands down. This group limped in with a pair of losses in the region tournament, but all the goals are still there to do what has to be done. The bottom line is this team by all intents and purposes should end up in Columbus. Sandy Creek (15-6) is a solid team, but White County is the heavy favorite here. The Lady Warriors are now in the playoffs for a second year in a row, but looking to get past the first round for the first time since its 2010 state title run. In every run since (6 times not counting this year), the girls have been bounced in the first round.

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