GHSA State Fast Pitch Softball Tournament Preview

Alex Farrer, Gordon Gazette

There are 64 teams which survived two rounds of state playoff action and now, they will bring their talents to the Columbus Softball Complex to compete for one of eight state championships to be awarded on Saturday. The field includes six defending state champions, up-and-coming programs looking to stake their claim and several programs who have turned the trip to Columbus into a familiar Fall getaway in recent seasons.

In the state’s highest class, East Coweta is back for a chance at a three-peat and it will begin its trek against Parkview on Field #4 at Noon on Thursday. Grayson, which won titles in 2002 and 2003, will open its tournament against Colquitt County on Field #1. Etowah and Peachtree Ridge will face on Field #2 as each program looks for its first-ever title. Mountain View and North Forsyth will meet on Field #3 to begin their bid for each program’s first-ever title.

In Class AAAAAA, Dacula and Lee County begin the tournament on Field #5 at 2 p.m. on Thursday and both are in the hunt for their first state championship. Creekview, which won the AAAAAA championship in 2017, will meet Evans on Field #6 as it searches for its first-ever state championship. Two-time champion Northgate – 2007, 2011 – meets River Ridge at the stadium field as it searches for its first-ever championship. Apalachee is searching for its first-ever title and opens the tournament against 2014 AAAAAA champion Pope on Field #8.

Locust Grove returns for a chance at a three-peat in the Class AAAAA bracket and it kicks off its tournament at 4 p.m. at the stadium field against Starr’s Mill. Buford, which won 10-straight state championships from 2007-2016, opens its bid for No. 11 on Field #5 against Harris County, which won the AAA title in 2000. Jones County, the AAAA champion in 2010, will face Whitewater on Field #6 as the Wildcats. Both Carrollton and Walnut Grove enter the tournament looking for the first state championship for each program and they will meet on Field #8 to begin the trek.

Last year, Heritage-Catoosa won its first-ever state championship in Class AAAA and now it will face LaGrange on Field #6 at 6 p.m. to continue its title defense. Madison County will face 2017 champion Northside-Columbus on Field #5, Central-Carroll, the 2016 champion, will face LaFayette at the stadium field and Oconee County begins its hunt for a ninth all-time state championship against Marist.

In Class AAA, defending champion Franklin County is set to take on Lumpkin County at 6 p.m. Ringgold, which won the AAAA title in 2005, will face Southeast Bulloch on Field #2. Four-time champion Calhoun will challenge Lovett on Field #3 and Jefferson and East Hall will each be trying for their first-ever championships when the programs meet on Field #4 to begin the tournament.

In Class AA, Banks County and Bremen will each be searching for their first state championship at Field #1 at 4 p.m. Jeff Davis and Lamar County will also be looking for their first-ever title beginning on Field #2. Both Harlem and Heard County have won a single state championship and the teams will meet on Field #3. Rockmart, which won the 2017 championship, takes on Vidalia on Field #4.

In Class A-Public, Gordon Lee has won nine state championships, including eight since 2010, and will face Trion on Field #5 at Noon. Bowdon won the 2005 Class A title and will take on Lanier County. Marion County will begin the trek for its first championship against two-time champion Georgia Military – 2014 and 2015 — on the stadium field. Commerce and Emanuel County Institute will begin the hunt for each team’s first-ever title on Field #8.

Wesleyan returns to try for a three-peat and it will go up against Hebron Christian on Field #1 at 2 p.m. Neither Mount de Sales or Stratford Academy have won a state championship and they will face off on Field #2. Same with Mount Paran and Tattnall Square, which will meet on Field #3 to begin the trek toward the first championship. Seven-time champion Eagle’s Landing Christian will open its bid for No. 8 against George Walton on Field #4.

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