COLUMBUS, Ga. - Ridgeland used a three-run fifth inning to rally past Columbus High, 6-5, and into the second round of the Class AAAA softball playoffs Thursday.
The Lady Panthers (18-15), the fourth seeds from Region 7-AAAA, were tied at 2 when rain forced a 90-minute rain delay. Ridgeland, which was the home team in the deciding game three, was trailing 5-3 in the fifth when, with the bases loaded and one out, Dana Whittington drove in one run with a fielder's choice and Cori Ketner plated two more with a single.
Allison Wallin made the runs stand up, allowing only four hits and working around three errors as first-year coach Richie Wood's team pulled off the upset.
"It's sweet," said Wood, whose team will travel to Walnut Grove for round two beginning Wednesday. "We played some tough competition this year and the girls developed a never-give-up attitude. When we would get down we would come right back."
Ally Johnson, Tori Townsend and Ketner each had two hits and Hayley Johnson had a two-run homer in the first inning.
Ridgeland's series win was the seventh for the nine northwest Georgia teams that played this week, joining Heritage, Northwest Whitfield, Ringgold, North Murray, Calhoun and Dade County as first-round winners. Region 6-A champion Gordon Lee begins play next week.
Contact Lindsey Young at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 423-757-6296.