Perry advances; VHS falls in tourney openers

One advanced and one fell in GHSA state tournament softball play Wednesday.

The first was Perry, which swept Columbus, 2-0 in Class AAAA. The second was Veterans, which got swept by South Effingham, 2-0 in Class AAAAA. Both were on the road.

The Lady Panthers won both games by a score of 11-2, and both in five innings. They scored three in the first inning and two in the second in Game 1. Columbus pushed one across in the first as well, making it 5-1, Perry, after two. Columbus managed one in the fourth, but the Lady Panthers put it away with six in the fifth.

The main difference in that game was Ashley Gidney’s one-hitter. She struck out two and walked three, while leaving five on base.

Perry had 10 hits in that game. Abby Ussery had two – in three trips to the plate. One was a homerun as she drove in two and scored once. Lauren Heath had one but it was a double good enough for two RBIs.

Annie Chance had two as well. She drove in three and scored once. And, oh by the way, if there were a deciding factor in Game 2, it would probably be here six RBIs, while going 2-2 – one of those a double – with a walk.

Perry, in putting up 10 more hits, scored in every inning in that game. It pushed one across in the first, three in both the second and third and four in the fourth.

Lauren Heath was also 2-3 – one a double – with a walk and two driven in and Olivia Hardy was 2-3 with an RBI and two scored.

Gidney again got the win. She pitched three scoreless innings to start while giving up seven hits total, striking out two and again walking three.

Next up for Perry will be Thomson, which beat Druid Hills 14-4, 9-0. Thomson is the No. 1 seed out of Region 3, which means the Lady Panthers, the No. 3 out of Region 1, will have to travel again. The best two-out-of-three is listed for Oct. 18 and 19.

As far as Veterans, South Effingham scored one in the second and three in the fourth for its runs in Game 1. The Lady Warhawks were out-hit 13-6, with Kyndall Foster accounting for two of Veterans’ – in three at bats.

The Lady Warhawks got out front with a run – a Kaylee Brown (1-3) homerun – in the second inning in Game 2. South Effingham answered that with two in the top of the third.

Veterans did leave six runners on base. That included leaving runners on first and second in both the third and seventh innings.

Jenna West took the loss despite pitching a gem. She stranded five South Effingham runners while striking out one and walking one.