A long road to Columbus leaves 64 teams vying for GHSA softball championships

Sixty-four championship-caliber teams survived one of the state’s 64 grueling super-regional brackets to earn a berth in the GHSA state fast pitch softball championship at the South Commons Softball Complex. Each program will compete in a double-elimination tournament for one of eight state championships.

There are 33 teams trekking to Columbus in pursuit of a first-ever state championship for their respective programs while 31 programs who have previously won at least one title will look to add to the trophy case.

Games will begin Wednesday Oct. 25 and conclude with the crowning of eight champions Saturday afternoon. Each of the eight championship series begins at 1 p.m. with a 3 p.m. time scheduled for the potential ‘if’ game.

All eight defending state champions will make the return trip – Buford (7A), Pope (6A), Northside-Columbus (5A), West Laurens (4A), Wesleyan (3A), Jeff Davis (2A), Heard County (A-Division I) and Emanuel County Institute (A-Division II).

The tournament begins at 11 a.m. on Wednesday for the lower classes – 3A, 2A, A-Division I and A-Division II – and continues at 1 p.m. for the higher classes – 7A, 6A, 5A and 4A.

The second round of the winner’s brackets will take the field Thursday as well as the first rounds of the losers brackets. There will be three games in the loser’s bracket on Thursday as well as the final game of the winner’s bracket. On championship Saturday, the losers bracket final will determine the championship series contenders.


Buford and Gordon Lee each have 11 state championships to lead the title holders. The Wolves won 10-straight championships from 2007-2016 and defeated East Coweta 9-1 in the 2022 7A championship series for the program’s 11th title. Gordon Lee won its first state title in 2004 and won four-straight from 2010-2013 and then six-straight from 2015 to 2020.


In Class 7A, four programs – North Cobb, Brookwood, North Paulding and Lowndes – are searching for their first titles. Joining Buford, East Coweta (3 titles – 2017, 2018 and 2020), North Gwinnett (2 titles – 2016 and 2021) and Mill Creek (2 titles – 2008 and 2015) want another title.

Six of the eight teams in Class 6A – South Effingham, Newnan, Grovetown, Alcovy, River Ridge and Effingham County — have never won a championship. Defending-champion Pope (3 titles – 2014, 2019 and 2022) and Lassiter (2 titles – 2020 and 2021) want more hardware.

Cartersville has never won a state championship and will face a field of seven former champions in the Class 5A tournament. Defending-champion Northside-Columbus (2 titles – 2017 and 2022), Northgate (2 titles – 2007 and 2011), Kell (2 titles – 2003 and 2004), Eastside (2 titles – 1998 and 1999), Harris County (1 title – 2000), Ola (1 title – 2013) and Cambridge (1 title – 2016) will contend.

Five of the Class 4A contenders are trying for a program-first title – Sonoraville, Westminster, Wayne County, Seckinger and Perry. Heritage-Catoosa leads with three championships – 2018, 2019 and 2020 – but defending-champion West Laurens (1 title) and North Oconee (1 title – 2006) will challenge.

Gordon Lee last won a title in Class A-Public in 2020 but has reclassed to Class 3A where it will compete for its 12th championship. Challenging the 11-time champions are defending-champion Wesleyan (4 titles — 2017, 2018, 2021 and 2022), Morgan County (3 titles – 2002, 2003 and 2005), and Harlem (1 title – 2016). Jackson, Pickens, Hebron Christian and Pike County are trying for the team’s first championship.

Eagle’s Landing Christian leads the count for state championships in the Class 2A field with seven. But the Chargers haven’t won a title since 2015. Rockmart has one state championship in 2017 and returns to try for another. Jeff Davis, the defending champions, are back alongside one-time champions Appling County, Mount Paran Christian and Banks County. Vidalia and Toombs County are searching for their first-ever state championship.

Five programs will try for their first-ever state championship in Class A Division I – Lanier County, Glascock County, Wilcox County, Washington-Wilkes and Telfair County. Defending-champion Emanuel County Institute wants its second title but Georgia Military (2 titles – 2014 and 2015) and Bowdon (1 title – 2005) will challenge.

In Class A Division II, defending champion Heard County (3 titles – 2020, 2021 and 2022) and Dade County (2 titles – 2004 and 2012) will face a bracket of hungry teams trying for a program-first state title. The talented field of Prince Avenue Christian, Metter, Temple, Mount Vernon, Trion and Bacon County have never won a championship.

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