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Salem softball wins region tournament opener

Salem's softball team got its region tournament off to a great start Monday. Rylee Rogers tossed a complete game, three-hitter as the Seminoles defeated Gainesville, 8-1 in the first round of the Region 8-AAAAA Tournament at Winder-Barrow High School.

Salem (8-15) moves on to the second round, where it will play Flowery Branch in a best-of-three series beginning with two games Thursday in Hall County. Game one is scheduled for 5 p.m.

"It was great," first-year Salem coach Ronnie Miller said. "Hoping this is the first of a trend that we can get started. I think Flowery Branch, they know that we bring it to them like we brought it to Gainesville tonight that we're definitely (going to) give them a run for their money."

Rogers, Taylor Beauchamp, Whitney Lester, Knarhine Bailey, Kristen George, Kendra Jenkins and Lane Powell all contributed hits in a balanced offensive attack. Miller was also impressed with the defense behind Rogers.

"Our offense finally opened up and played like they needed to, defense came through big for us especially our outfield and our catcher," Miller said. "Everybody just did their job, (and) when they do their job this will happen."

If Salem and Flowery Branch split Thursday's doubleheader, the teams will play a rubber game Friday.