The 2019 GHSA Class AAAA softball state champions have survived a second-round scare in the 2020 playoffs.
The Heritage Generals, who lost the opening game of their home series against Jefferson on Thursday before evening the series in game two later that night, rode a one-hit, 15-strikeout performance from senior ace Rachel Gibson to a 7-0 win Friday afternoon in the deciding game.
The Generals (27-6) will play at Bainbridge in a best-of-three quarterfinal series beginning with a doubleheader next Tuesday.
Gibson got all the runs she needed in the second inning, when Heritage took a 4-0 lead on Savannah Wilson's RBI bunt single and Bailey Christol's three-run triple. The Generals added three runs in the sixth on RBI hits from Madeline Stone, who finished 2-for-3, and Sarah Haynes (2-for-3, two runs).
Also in GHSA second-round action Friday:
Ringgold 9-12, Hart County 5-1: The reigning Class AAA champions advanced to the quarterfinals after amassing 24 hits in 13 innings of play. The Lady Tigers (21-15) scored four runs in the fourth inning of game one, with two coming in on Zoey DeFoor's single for a 4-2 lead, and added three in the seventh on RBI hits from Addi Broome and Autumn Green (2-3, two runs).
Ringgold exploded for 14 hits in the four-inning second game, with Baleigh Pitts going 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs. Broome, DeFoor, Amber Gainer and Jade Gainer each had two hits, with Caroline Hemphill contributing two RBIs. Taylor Layne allowed five hits and an earned run.
Franklin County 4-11, Coahulla Creek 3-7: The Lady Colts (24-7), the Region 6-AAA champions, held leads in both games before being eliminated. Sophia Voyles allowed only one earned run and five hits while striking out nine batters in game one, when she also hit a solo homer, but two Coahulla Creek errors turned the situation around.
The Lady Colts held a 7-3 lead in game two, but the visitors scored three runs in the fourth and five in the fifth to take control. Meka Henson had three RBIs in the two games, with McKinley Staten and Mia Jones adding RBIs for Coahulla Creek.
Oconee County 2-9, Sonoraville 1-0: The Lady Phoenix (16-10) were eliminated despite Taylor Long's 11-strikeout complete game in the tight opener. Sonoraville, which had three hits from Kelly Green and two from Daelynn Cochran, left seven runners on base. Oconee's Kate Newberry was 2-for-2 with an RBI and also earned the pitching win, allowing eight hits and striking out four. Ava Moon allowed three hits in the five-inning second game, with Mattie Mentel driving in three runs for Oconee (15-10).
Bremen 2, Chattooga 0: The Lady Indians fell at Bremen in game three of a second-round series. Lindsey Haley allowed three hits and struck out nine for Bremen, while Clara Wyatt allowed five hits and an earned run with six strikeouts in a losing effort.
Class A public
Gordon Lee 5-9, Social Circle 0-0: Emma Minghini and Emma Langston pitched shutouts and allowed one hit in 12 innings while striking out 16 batters. Langston drove in two runs in game one, with Minghini, Allie Farrow and Jordan Dyer (solo homer) adding an RBI each.
Langston pitched a five-inning no-hitter in game two while also adding a pair of hits and driving in a run, with Minghini adding two hits (both doubles) and three RBIs. Addison Sturdivant was 3-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs for the Lady Trojans (27-3).
Commerce 8-12, Trion 0-5: Trion's season ended at 12-8 with the sweep in Commerce. Carson Hobbs had a grand slam in game one and went four innings and allowed a hit and struck out four to earn the win. Rachel Morgan had three hits and drove in four, while Emma Davis and Maggie Mullis had two RBIs each for the Lady Tigers (17-10-1). For Trion, I'Ziah McCutchins was 2-for-2 with an RBI and run scored, with Chloe Murdock, Bailey Smith, Linzie Thompson and Kinzleigh Turner each adding an RBI.
In Thursday's 31-team Front Runner Championships at Woodland Park in Chattanooga, Heritage's Gavin Chandler was 25th out of 210 runners to lead the Generals, with teammate Davis Justice 43rd. For the Heritage girls, Allison Craft was sixth out of 170 runners, with Mia Callahan 42nd.