Bulldogs swept out of state softball playoffs

CONYERS -- Coming into Wednesday's state playoff series, the Rockdale softball team had a high-powered offense and two convincing wins in the state playoffs under its belt.

But Harrison had Bridgette Rainey, Sierra Maddox and Jesse Giles.

Rainey tossed a perfect game in the opener, and Maddox and Giles combined for three home runs in the visiting Hoyas' 9-0 and 14-2 sweep in a Class AAAAAA second-round series.

Harrison (22-11), the No. 4 seed from the tough Region 4 which is trying to get back to the state championship game for the second time in three years, will travel to Columbus for next week's Elite Eight. Rockdale, the runner-up from Region 2-AAAAAA, finished its season 18-16.

Rainey, a Michigan State commitment, was over-powering in Game 1. The left-hander struck out nine and let just one ball leave the infield in a 72-pitch gem. Harrison got Rainey all the support she would need in the opening inning as the first four batters reached base and scored, the last of which came on Marina Michaud's two-run single.

Giles later ripped a solo home run and Rainey helped her own cause with a run-scoring single in a three-run fifth that made it 9-0.The host Bulldogs led 2-0 early in the nightcap. Facing right-hander Brooke Taylor, Kaila Gabaree and Candace Johnson had one-out singles and Breanna Richardson followed with a two-run double off the left field wall. Taylor was stellar after that, retiring 11 of the final 12 batters she faced.Meanwhile, the Hoyas got to work with the bats. The Cobb County school sent 12 batters to the plate and scored six times -- the big blows coming when Maddox hit a grand slam and Giles followed with her second home run of the series.

For Rockdale, right-hander Miasia Mayer took the loss in both games.