The Lady Pirates knocked out powerhouse Columbus High School in a thrilling 10-inning victory as they powered their way through the Super Regionals last week to earn a spot in the state’s Elite 8 for the GHSA Class 3A state playoffs.
“The Super Regional was an awesome experience for our girls. Our Lady Pirates fought hard and never gave up,” said head coach Don Hanson. “Two of our three wins came in extra innings. Game two vs Columbus went 8 innings in a 6-5 victory. Game 3 vs Columbus went 10 innings in a 3-2 victory. Our Lady Pirates played great defense and our pitchers competed very well. We managed to get the big hits when we needed them the most. We are so proud of these girls!”
The Lady Pirates defeated Long County 10-2 and Columbus High School 6-5 on Oct. 16. The team earned the Super Regionals championship title after beating Columbus a second time by a score of 3-2 on Oct. 17.
In the first game of the series, the Lady Pirates started with a strong first inning against Long County, scoring six runs. An error scored one run, Ashlyn Maddock scored after tagging up, Lily Alpough doubled and Katelyn Skinner doubled. In the second inning, Lily doubled again to make the score 7-0.
Offensively, the team was on fire with 11 hits. Kerrah ‘KK’ Foster, Lily Alpough, Katelyn Skinner and Maliyah Holmes got two hits each. The team collected seven walks and stole four bases. Kerrah Foster earned the win as she allowed three hits and two runs (zero earned) over five innings, striking out seven and walking four.
In Pike’s first game against the Columbus High School Blue Devils, the Lady Pirates came from behind to win on a solo home run by Lily Alpough in the top of the eighth inning. The Blue Devils got on the board first with one run in the third. In the top of the seventh, Pike’s ladies scored five runs on six hits to take a 5-3 lead but Columbus was able to tie it up in the bottom of the seventh. Haislynn Cromer earned the win, allowing 10 hits and five runs over eight innings, striking out seven and walking four. Offensively, Lily Alpough, Austin King and Katelyn Skinner each got two hits. Katelyn went 2-for-3 on the day with two stolen bases.
In the final game, PCHS was led by sophomore pitcher Kerrah ‘KK’ Foster who struck out 12 batters over 10 innings. Austin King homered to left field in the top of the fourth to tie the game at 2-2. Austin led the team with two hits in four at bats. The game was still tied in the top of the tenth when Aubree Reese laid down a sacrifice bunt to score a run. In the bottom of the tenth, a Blue Devils player was placed on second base. The first batter bunted to move the runner over and was out at first. KK struck out the second batter and Ashlyn Maddock caught a pop fly in right field to end the game and secure the team’s spot in the Elite 8.
“We will now head to the Elite-8, Final Four and Championship all in a four-day period at the XVI Olympiad Softball venue in Columbus. The tournament starts Wednesday and a champion will be crowned Saturday,” said coach Hanson. “Our opening game in the tournament is at 3 p.m. vs a very good Hebron Christian team. We have been working extremely hard to prepare for this tournament. We know that every team there will be good and have earned the right to be there including us. We need all the support we can get so please find some time if possible and drive down and see your Lady Pirates battle for a title.”