Region 7AAAAA champion Creekview (21-8) may have the highest expectations going into today’s doubleheader with Woodland-Bartow, which begins the best-of-three series.
Creekview coach Chance Cain is confident that his team has what it takes to advance to the second round, where it would once again be able to host.
“This is what it is all about,” Cain said. “We work all season to play at this time of year. So far, the girls are doing what they need to and putting the team in a position to win every time we step onto the field.”
Region 7AAAAA runner-up Sequoyah (15-10) will host Paulding County, the third seed out of 5AAAAA.
The Lady Chiefs have made the playoffs 21 times in the last 24 seasons, according to coach Todd Morrissey.
“Our club is playing its best ball right now,” said Morrissey, who led Sequoyah to a state championship in 2006. “Our kids expect to be in the hunt for a state title every time we step on the field. We really don’t have one dominant player. It seems that someone different has risen to the occasion in crucial situations and helped our team win. These kids play in a very unselfish manner. They will do whatever it takes to help their team win.”
River Ridge finished third in the Region 7AAAA tournament and will travel to 5AAAA runner-up Alexander for its first-round series.
Thus far, senior Jessica Baker and freshman Brianna Collender have provided their share of the offensive, while juniors Heather Williams and Emma Pope split the pitching duties. Kiley Rediger has returned from an early-season injury and should help the Lady Knights down the stretch.
Competing in Class AAAAAA are Cherokee and Woodstock.
Cherokee (20-11) lost a tough game against Lassiter to end up as the No. 2 seed from Region 5AAAAAA and will host Mill Creek, the No. 3 of 7AAAAAA.
Woodstock (19-11) finished third in the region and will be on the road for their opening series at 7AAAAAA runner-up Collins Hill.
Woodstock coach Kortney Dempsey is hoping her team’s mix of veteran and new players can get them past a tough first-round opponent.
“The team is very motivated and playing for each other,” Dempsey said.
Seniors Caroline Nolen and Carolyn Edwards continue to be Woodstock’s leaders on and off the field, while junior Grace Bottie has stepped up to the challenge of moving to shortstop and excelled both in the field at the plate. However, the real burden at Collins Hill may fall on sophomore Danielle Rubin and freshman Breanna Roper, who have shared the pitching duties.