GHSA Slow Pitch Softball State Championship Preview

The GHSA Slow Pitch Softball season will end at Twin Creeks in Woodstock April 20-21 and after sectional qualifying, there is a stacked field of contenders trying for a title. Four former champions – Haralson County, Hart County, West Laurens and Dodge County – join four hungry programs on the path for the team’s first championship – Oconee County, Cherokee, Etowah and North Oconee.

The event was discontinued in 2009 and didn’t return as a GHSA state championship until 2017. Haralson County won the title in the return season and the Rebels successfully defended their title in 2018. In 2019, Creekview won the title but failed to advance to the championship bracket this season. The season was cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic but in 2021, Hart County won the program’s first-ever title. The Bulldogs advanced through sectionals and will now contend for their second-consecutive title.

The championship bracket is double-elimination and provides teams a chance to overcome an early stumble with victories in the loser’s bracket and still have a chance at the championship. The sectional qualifying took place April 13 with two separate double-elimination bracket tournaments – one at Twin Peaks and one at Southern Pines Park in Dublin.

At Twin Peaks, Haralson County and Etowah qualified without a loss while Hart County and Cherokee had to earn the championship bracket berth through the loser’s bracket. Haralson beat Gainesville 15-0 and Jefferson 15-5 while Etowah defeated Johnson 17-1, Cherokee 14-12 and Hart County 10-7 to advance. Cherokee lost to Etowah in the winner’s bracket and then beat Woodstock 14-0, Creekview 8-5 and Jefferson 10-6 to advance. Hart County lost to Etowah 10-7 in the winner’s bracket but needed just one victory over Kennesaw (10-7) to advance through the loser’s bracket.

In Dublin, West Laurens and Dodge County advanced through the winner’s bracket without a loss and earned championship berths. West Laurens defeated Stone Mountain 31-0 and Oconee County 19-4 to advance. Dodge County defeated Redan 22-0, Thomas County Central 20-0 and North Oconee 18-5 on its path to the championship bracket. Oconee County and North Oconee needed a second shot and won games in the loser’s bracket in order to advance, both needing just one victory. Oconee County defeated Thomas County Central 11-3 and North Oconee beat Chattahoochee County 22-0.

The championship will begin at 11 a.m. on Fields 1, 2, 3 and 4 at Twin Peaks. To begin the tournament on Field 1, Haralson County will face Oconee County. On Field 2, Dodge County will play Cherokee. On Field 3, West Laurens will meet defending-champion Hart County and on Field 4, North Oconee will play Etowah.

The second round of the winner’s bracket will take to Fields 3 and 4 at 12:30 p.m. and then await the results of the loser’s bracket. The first round of the loser’s bracket will play at 2 p.m. on Fields 3 and 4 and the second round will play at 3:30 p.m.


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