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Atlanta high school sports news from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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Week 1 Softball Rankings

The 2018 fast-pitch softball season is around the corner and teams across the state are preparing for rebuilding seasons, postseason runs and everything in between. Last year saw six of the eight classes name first-time champions as East Coweta won in AAAAAAA, Creekview took AAAAAA, Locust Grove claimed AAAAA, Rockmart was victorious in AA and Wesleyan took the A-Private crown. 

Calhoun, which took AAA’s title, had previously won titles in AA in 2013 before winning back-to-back years in AAA (2014-15). Gordon Lee, which took the A-Public title, has won eight softball championships – A-Public in 2004, 2010-13, 2015-17; AA in 2015.

In the state’s highest classification, East Coweta’s 10-0 victory over Etowah in the Class AAAAAAA state championship game marked the first-ever softball title for the Lady Indians. But, when looking at their returning players, it’s hard to believe that it will be their last title. 

Rising senior Kelley Lynch will return for East Coweta. The star pitcher and infielder helped East Coweta to a 36-0 record during the championship run. On the mound, Lynch finished 14-0 while striking out 193 batter and finishing with a .045 ERA in 93 innings. Her accomplishments earned her the Newnan Times-Herald Player of the Year award and the Georgia Dugout Player of the Year award. 

Creekview debuts at the top of Class AAAAAA after being taken to an extra game in the championship series against Allatoona. Creekview, who’d run flawlessly through the bracket defeating Houston County in the first round, Cambridge in the quarterfinals and Allatoona in the semis. The 6-5 victory sent Allatoona to the loser’s bracket where it would survive one game against Evans before again meeting Creekview. Allatoona fought for a 7-6 victory in the first game before Creekview rallied to take the final game 8-7. 

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Through top-ranked Locust Grove’s Class AAAAA championship run, the Lady Wildcats weathered closely contested matchups after making it safely through the playoff brackets. In the first round of the championship brackets, Locust Grove survived a 6-5 thriller against defending-champion Buford before advancing past Loganville 5-4. In the semis against Wayne County, Locust Grove advanced with a 14-2 victory before meeting Wayne again in the championship game. 

Locust Grove will have to weather losses to graduation moving into 2018 but, with a solid group of young players who know how to win a championship, the Lady Wildcats have the experience to put together another deep run.

No. 1 Northside-Columbus took it’s first-ever state title after being taken to an extra game in the championship series by No. 2 Stephens County last season. Northside had moved through the bracket easily before dropping the 2-0 Game 1 to Stephens. It’s 6-0 victory in Game 2 sealed the title. This year, Northside returns a large portion of the moving parts from the title run after losing few seniors to graduation. 

Calhoun’s victory over Cook County in the Class AAA title game last season marked the fourth title for the Lady Yellow Jackets since the 2013 season, only missing in 2016. Entering 2018, Calhoun’s young but talented squad lost only three seniors from the championship team and a majority of the moving parts return. 

Rockmart’s run through the Class AA brackets last year featured mixed results, from blowouts to closely-contested games, Rockmart handled a variety of games on its way to the title. The young team, which featured just four seniors in the title run, has the talent and experience to advance deep into the postseason again this year.

Gordon Lee continued its storied softball history by adding an eighth title to its credit following its 14-4 defeat of Trion in the Class A-Public championship game last season. This year, top-ranked Gordon Lee is favorited again to produce another deep playoff run. Since 2010, the Lady Trojans have won seven titles, only missing out in 2014. 

In Class A-Private, Wesleyan weathered a 3-0 to Tattnall Square in the first game of the championship series before rebounding to win the title with a 5-4 victory in Game 2. The Lady Wolves featured just three seniors on the roster last year and, with young talent, Wesleyan could be poised to defend its title in 2018. Tattnall Square, however, is also prepared to produce another deep playoff run with young, experienced talent.

Class AAAAAAA
1. East Coweta
2. Etowah
3. Archer
4. Kennesaw Mountain 
5. Lowndes
6. Parkview
7. Collins Hill
8. Lambert
9. North Gwinnett
10. Grayson


Class AAAAAA
1. Creekview
2. Allatoona
3. Evans
4. Houston County 
5. Pope
6. Cambridge
7. Effingham County
8. Greenbrier
9. Harrison 
10. Dalton


Class AAAAA
1. Locust Grove
2. Wayne County 
3. Buford
4. Carrollton
5. Loganville
6. Walnut Grove
7. Jones County
8. Union Grove
9. Statesboro
10. Harris County


Class AAAA
1. Northside-Columbus
2. Stephens County
3. West Laurens
4. Marist
5. Madison County
6. Northwest Whitfield
7. Eastside
8. Perry
9. Chapel Hill
10. Spalding

Class AAA
1. Calhoun
2. Cook
3. Worth County
4. Jackson County 
5. Sonoraville
6. East Hall
7. Pike County
8. Rutland
9. Morgan County
10. Appling County


Class AA
1. Rockmart
2. Monticello
3. Banks County
4. Dodge County
5. Armuchee
6. Harlem
7. Bacon County
8. Bleckley County 
9. Berrien 
10. Screven County 


Class A-Public
1. Gordon Lee
2. Trion
3. Mt. Zion
4. Georgia Military
5. Echols County
6. Bowdon
7. Emanuel County Insitute
8. Marion County
9. Wilcox County
10. Washington-Wilkes


Class A-Private
1. Wesleyan
2. Tattnall Square
3. Eagle’s Landing Christian
4. First Presbyterian Day
5. Prince Avenue Christian
6. Stratford 
7. Mount de Sales
8. George Walton Academy
9. Mount Pisgah
10. Brookstone

 

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