Slow-pitch softball championships return; newcomers and familiar faces vying for title

ajc.com

Credit: Jason Getz

Credit: Jason Getz

The GHSA Slow Pitch Softball State Championships presented by Mizuno begins at Twin Creeks in Woodstock and after the sectional qualifying, eight programs will be vying for this year’s state championship Wednesday and Thursday.

Entering the double-elimination championship bracket, Haralson County leads a pack of just three teams who have won a state title – Haralson, Jefferson, and West Laurens. Both Jefferson (Class A) and West Laurens (Class 4A/3A) each won the program’s only state championships in 2000.

After a run through the loser’s bracket in 2019, Creekview won the state title, beating Franklin County 15-4 in the championship game on April 25, 2019 which would be the last slow pitch softball playoff game in the state until Wednesday.

Haralson County won the 2017 and 2018 state championships and lost a chance for a third title last year when the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled the season. The other five programs in the bracket – Hart County, North Oconee, Kennesaw Mountain, Franklin County and Cherokee -- are each trying for each program’s first state title.

In the sectional qualifying at Dublin’s Southern Pines Regional Park, West Laurens, Hart County, Jefferson and Franklin County each punched their tickets to the championship bracket. West Laurens beat Charlton County 13-4 to advance and Hart County outlasted Dodge County 11-10 to advance. Jefferson beat Dodge County 12-2 in the sectional semifinals and Franklin County narrowly edged Charlton County 14-1 to advance.

In the sectional qualifying at Twin Creeks, Haralson County had little trouble with North Oconee 17-5 to earn a berth in the championship bracket. Kennesaw Mountain captured its title berth with a 19-1 romp of Creekview. Cherokee narrowly outlasted Creekview 9-8 and North Oconee beat Woodstock 14-3 to advance to the championship bracket.

West Laurens will begin its trek for a championship on Field #3 against Cherokee at 11 a.m. Wednesday. At 12:30 p.m. on Field 3, Franklin County will face Kennesaw Mountain. At 11 a.m. on Field 1, Jefferson will meet Haralson County and at 12:30 p.m. on Field 1, North Oconee will begin its championship journey against Hart County.

To view the championship and sectional brackets follow the link.

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