Under a new format, the 2022 Georgia High School Association fastpitch softball playoffs got underway on Tuesday around the state.
The traditional best-of-three series at the home of the higher seeds was scrapped by the GHSA coming into the 2022 campaign. The GHSA adopted the Regional format, used in college softball playoffs, where four teams will play a double-elimination bracket with the winner moving on to the finals in Columbus. Each of the eight GHSA classifications will conduct eight Regionals with the winners advancing.
Ten Northeast Georgia area teams opened their playoff quests on Tuesday as Classes 6A, 4A, 2A, and Class A Division 1 got things started.
In Class 6A, North Forsyth is the only Region 8-6A team still remaining after the Lady raiders went 1-1 on Tuesday. North Forsyth opened with a 10-5 win over Blessed Trinity but then lost 6-1 to River Ridge to fall back into the elimination bracket. They will take on East Paulding on Wednesday looking to stay alive.
However, it was a quick day for both Habersham Central and Jackson County. Habersham Central lost to Lassiter and Alexander while the Lady Panthers dropped games to Pope and Newnan.
In Class 4A, East Forsyth moved one win from Columbus with a 9-2 win over Northwest Whitfield in its opener and then routed Pace Academy, 13-0, in the second game. The Lady Broncos will await the winner of the Northwest Whitfield-Pace Academy elimination bracket game on Wednesday.
Cherokee Bluff is also still alive. The Lady Bears were shut out 9-0 by Central-Carroll but rebounded with a 14-1 blowout win over Holy Innocents’ in the elimination bracket. They will await the loser of the Central-Carroll-Hampton showdown on Wednesday in another elimination game.
In Class 2A, Region 8-2A champion Union County held off Murray County, 6-5, in the opening game and moved within one win of Columbus with a 12-2 spanking of Callaway in the second game. The Lady Panthers will take on the winner of the Murray County-Callaway elimination matchup on Wednesday in Blairsville.
In Class A Division 1, both Commerce and Rabun County are still kicking after splitting a pair of games on Tuesday.
Commerce beat Trion, 4-2, in the opener but lost to host Prince Avenue Christian, 12-2, in the second game. The Lady Tigers will have a rematch with Trion on Wednesday looking to stay alive.
Rabun County was whipped by Dade County, 15-0, in the first game but the Lady Wildcats stayed alive with a 16-6 win over Jasper County in the elimination round. Rabun County will take on Dade County again on Wednesday also trying to stay alive.
Classes 7A, 5A, 3A, and Class A Division 2 will get underway on Thursday around the state.