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Softball sweeps East Laurens, in Sweet 16

Winning their first state playoff series since 2014 and their first at home since 2009, the SCHS Lady Gamecock softball team of Jim Randall Doyle swept East Laurens 6-5 and 10-1 on Oct. 11 to advance to the Sweet 16 round of the tournament. 

On Wednesday, the team traveled to Alma to face 2AA champion Bacon County in a doubleheader. Should there have been a split on Oct. 18 the rubber game of the series will be this Thursday, Oct. 19, afternoon at 5:00. 

The winner of the series will advance to the State Finals Tournament in Columbus Oct. 26-28 with the first game for the winner being at 3 p.m. on Oct. 26. The opponent will be the winner of the Armuchee (Region 7 No. 3)-Temple (Region 5 No. 4) series.

Three times since 2012 Bacon County has ended the season for SCHS with sweeps including in Sylvania in 2012 and 2015. 

Game one last week was everything a state playoff game should be. 

After SCHS plated an unearned run in the second on a bases-loaded walk to Meliyah Atkins, East Laurens struck for five in the top of the third. Crucial to the inning was a two-out run down that proved nonproductive. An out in the situation would have ended the inning with the Lady Gamecocks still guarding their lead. 

The Lady Falcons got five runs before the inning finally ended.

In the fourth, senior Kara Canetto (8-4, 1.83) took to the mound to replace Sarah Beasley and totally shut down ELHS as she allowed one hit and two walks to go with six strikeouts over the final four frames.

Still the Lady Gamecocks had trouble scoring. 

In the fifth, GeeGee Beasley plated a run with a sacrifice, but still the deficit was 5-2. 

In the sixth, an Atkins single plated Madison Lewis, who had singled, to cut the East Laurens lead to 5-3 before Canetto drilled a two-out, bases-loaded double to put SCHS back on top with three outs to go. 

Canetto got two of those three outs via the strikeout and the other on a pop up. Canetto and Lewis had two hits each.

In game two, SCHS let East Laurens hang around for four innings while they solved a less-than-stellar pitcher.

Atkins scored in the first to give the Lady Gamecocks -- the visitors in game two -- a quick lead. 

Lewis made the game 2-0 in the fourth when she drove home a run. The Lady Falcons pushed across an unearned run in the bottom of the inning, but in the fifth the locals began to pull away.

An RBI by Maggie Hafer and Sarah Beasley made it 4-1 after five before a four-run sixth blew the game open. Payton Ward, Atkins, and Hafer picked them up.

Canetto went the seven-inning distance in game two allowing just three hits while striking out six.

SCHS managed just six hits with Hafer accounting for three RBI. Over 11 innings on the day, Canetto allowed only one unearned run while striking out 12.