Friday September 21st, 2018 6:13PM

Softball playoffs: East Hall takes down defending AAA state champ East Jackson to highlight first round action

By Jeff Hart Sports Reporter

Regions 8-AAAAA, 8-AAAA, and 8-AAA put on dominant displays Wednesday in the first round of the state softball playoffs sending three teams each into the second round.

But, East Hall may have pulled off the biggest win of the first round knocking out defending Class AAA state champion East Jackson in an impressive sweep at home.

Below is a brief synopsis of Wednesday's action from northeast Georgia area teams, listed by classification:

Region 8-AAAAA has a strong showing with Buford, Walnut Grove, and Loganville all advancing to the second round. Buford walloped Hiram 16-0 and 10-0 at home as the Lady Wolves opened defense of their Class AAAAA state title in dominating fashion.

Flowery Branch, the No. 4 seed from 8-AAAAA, however, lost to Region 7-AAAAA champion Carrollton 5-3 and 12-4 to get knocked out in the first round.

Class AAAA
Region 8-AAAA also looked strong with three teams advancing against Region 7-AAAA. Region 8-AAAA champ Jefferson routed White County 8-0 and 12-1 and Stephens County knocked off Chestatee on the road 5-0 and 3-2 behind Emma Whitfield. Madison County took down Blessed Trinity and No. 4 seed Oconee County split with 7-AAAA champ Marist with a deciding game three set for Thursday.

Class AAA
In the most compelling first round matchup in the area, Region 7-AAA champion East Hall played host to defending Class AAA champion East Jackson in the first round. The Lady Eagles had taken a pair of victories over East Hall during the regular season but East Hall answered when it mattered most.

The Lady Vikings showed the rest of Class AAA they will be a contender knocking out the defending state champions 6-3 and 9-5 in a sweep at East Hall Park.

But the Lady Vikings were the only 7-AAA team to clear the first round. Region 8-AAA champion Jackson County advanced with a 15-1 and 15-6 sweep of Lumpkin County and Franklin County took out North Hall 8-1 and 14-3. Morgan County bested Greater Atlanta Christian 9-2 and 8-0 on Wednesday.

Class AA
Region 8-AA champion Banks County was pushed to a third game after splitting Wednesday's doubleheader with Pepperell. The Lady Leopards took the first game 9-0 but dropped game two, 7-4. The two teams will play a deciding game three on Thursday.

Class AAAAAA and Class AAAAAAA will begin first round action on Thhursday and Friday, respectively. Commerce, the only area Class A team to advance to the state playoffs, got a first round bye and will begin play next week.

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