SOFTBALL: Ridegland sweeps Gilmer to secure spot at state
The Ridgeland Lady Panthers advanced to the Class 4A state tournament on Tuesday night with a sweep of visiting Gilmer in the Region 6-AAA playoffs.
Homestanding Ridgeland needed just three innings to beat the Lady Bobcats in Game 1, 15-0. They scored four times in the top of the first inning, three coming on a homerun by Dasia Watkins. They added 11 runs in the third inning. Katie Davis launched a two-run homer to start the frame and Jenna Morgan blasted a three-run shot to close it out as the game was called after three innings.
Watkins finished with three hits and five RBIs in the opener. Grayson James was 2-for-3 with a double. Kiera Foster had two hits and an RBI. Danielle Cross knocked in a pair of runs. Ciera Foster had a triple and Laine Hicks chipped in with an RBI. Bryanna Goldsmith pitched all three innings, allowing four hits and striking out two.
In the nightcap, Ridgeland - playing as the visiting team - led 9-2 going into the bottom of the seventh. Gilmer scored four runs to try and get back in the ball game, but it was too little too late as the Lady Panthers advanced.
Hicks had three hits and drove in three runs, while Morgan was 3-for-5 with a solo homer. Watkins picked up two more hits. Ciera Foster and Marianne Beliveau had two hits and one RBI apiece. Cross doubled and drove in three runs, while James also added a double.
Maddie Williams went 6.2 innings in the circle to get the victory. She allowed four earned runs on eight hits and two walks with five strikeouts. Goldsmith gave up two hits and one earned run, but was able to get the final out and record the save.
Fourth-seeded Ridgeland will head to Northwest Whitfield on Thursday to face the third-seeded Lady Bruins in a one-game playoff at 5:30 p.m. to determine the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds for the state tournament. Northwest blistered Pickens, 11-3 and 14-2, to punch its ticket to state.