If last weekend was not enough of a test for the Tattnall Square softball team, Saturday could be as the Trojans try to win their first fast-pitch championship.
After surviving two elimination games last weekend, The Trojans find themselves on the brink of a championship Saturday in Dublin when they meet Westfield in best two-of-three GISA Class AAA championship series starting at noon on Saturday.
They are very good, said Tattnall head coach Joey Hiller, whose team beat Westfield twice in three meetings in the regular season. You can really throw the regular season away when you get to this point, and we know that we will see their best softball this weekend. They coasted through the Final Four, and we had to battle the entire time. I hope that we learned a lesson last week to keep battling through any adversity we may see.
Tattnall lost the first game in the Final Four to Stratford 7-2 but then came back to beat Southwest Georgia, setting up one more game with Stratford. This time, Tattnall jumped on Eagles starter Mary Wilson Avant, who Hiller calls arguably the best pitcher in the GISA for three runs in the first inning and seven more in the next three innings to breeze to an 11-1 win.
We knew that we had not played our best in the first game, and I think we all knew that, said pitcher Kirsten Albright, who is batting .468. We have managed to keep that positive attitude all year, and none of us are ready to end this season without bringing home the state championship. We know that Westfield is a great team, and it should be a great series.
Tattnall is batting better than .370 as a team with leadoff hitter Liz Wainwright batting .447. Jade Moncrief is batting .433, while eighth-grader Allie Gordon is batting .431, including a huge first-inning home run against Stratford in the Final Four.
Westfields offense is led by three seniors -- Callie Hammerle, who is batting .514, and Barker and Laura Johnson, who are both batting better than .400.
We had to come over some adversity early, but I feel like we have really started to play much better lately, said Westfield head coach Kyle Davis, whose team has won 10 out of its past 12 games. I felt like all year there were five or six team that could win state this year, and we had to go through some of them like Brentwood, who took us to three games in our playoff series, but once we got by that, we became a much better team.
Obviously for us, it starts with our pitcher, Sydney Barker, who will more than likely do all our pitching. She is mentally and physically tough enough to handle three games this weekend if it goes that far. She will always be ready for the battle, and we are very confident with her on the mound.