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State softball tournament starts for five local teams

COVINGTON — Five local softball teams make their bid for a state championship with Newton and Heritage hosting first-round games.

Newton, who won the Region 2-AAAAAA championship, will host North Cobb, the No. 4 seed from Region 4-AAAAAA. The region champion from 8-AAAAA, Heritage, will play Region 6-AAAAA No. 4 seed Stephenson.

The first game of today’s doubleheader starts at 4:30 p.m. with the if game being played on Thursday for Newton with the Heritage starting their doubleheader at 5 p.m.

“Their record is similar to ours, we’re 21-7 and they’re 22-10,” Alcovy head coach Russell Brock said.” We had one common opponent, Union Grove. They beat them 4-0 and we we’re beating Union Grove 3-0 when we got rained out in a tournament. I’d say we’re pretty evenly matched.”

If the Lady Tigers are to advance to the second round, they will have to make sure they make the routine plays and avoid errors. The other thing required from the Lady Tigers is that their pitching staff cuts down on the number of walks they’ve been allowing.

The runners in all three of the runs given up in the Region 2-AAAAAA tournament game against Luella got on base on walks.

“Kalia Johnson is doing great,” Brock said. “She can pitch more than one game in a day so we’re not worried about her. But we have capable back up in case we need it.”

Stephenson (12-10) proved that they could put runs on the board as they have been averaging 11 runs a game. However, their defense is extremely vulnerable as they give up more than seven runs on average.

Heritage (24-5) has shown that they’re just as capable of scoring having been in double digits six times. Their solid defense is allowing just over one run per game with 15 of their wins coming on shutouts.

In the Class AAAAAA tournament, Rockdale, the No. 4 seed from Region 2-AAAAAA, travel to play the Region 6-AAAAAA champion Kennesaw Mountain.

The Lady Rams, who earned Region 2-AAAAAA No. 3 seed, will travel to take on No. 2 seed Hillgrove.

Eastside, who finished third in the Region 8-AAAA tournament, should be able to advance to the next round of the Class AAAA state tournament as they travel to Stone Mountain to face Redan.