Pope had three hits in all. Two came in the third as Katie Deady and Lindsey Monkiewicz laced back-to-back hits to plate the Lady Greyhounds’ first run. Deady singled, stole second and scored on Monkiewicz’s RBI single.
Monkiewicz reached base in the sixth off a one-out error. Ellie Viland’s hit into center field led to a three-base error that plated Monkiewicz for the insurance run.
Kelly Barnhill gave up one hit and struck out 17 in the complete-game win.
Pope, however, dropped a 2-0 contest to Houston County in Thursday’s nightcap and will have to battle through the losers’ bracket if it wants to make a repeat appearance in the state championship game.
The Lady Greyhounds will begin their quest at 3 p.m. today against either Effingham County or Creekview.
Harrison 3, Lassiter 0: Each team had three hits, but the Lady Hoyas made the most of theirs in winning their opening-round game of the Class AAAAAA state finals.
Harrison’s Bridgette Rainey batted 2-for-3 and played a key role in the outcome with three RBIs. She had a two-out single in the fourth to plate Brooke Taylor, and her two-out, two-run single in the sixth scored Brooke Etheridge and Meggie Hetzel for the 3-0 margin.
Rainey also got it done in the circle, giving up two hits while striking out seven in five innings. Emily Kachel allowed a hit and struck out four to collect the save.
Brianna Michaud, Kelly Sinclair and Andrea Summey each had a hit for Lassiter.
Hillgrove 3, North Gwinnett 2: The Lady Hawks rallied from one-run deficits in the fifth and sixth innings to take an opening-round win in their Class AAAAAA state finals game.
After North Gwinnett took a 1-0 lead, Taylor DeCelles, who batted
2-for-4, had an RBI hit in the fifth that plated Abby Akins for a 1-all tie.
The Lady Bulldogs pulled ahead again with a run in the bottom of the fifth, but Maddie Garner’s bases-loaded walk in the sixth provided another tying run.
DeCelles’ infield hit resulted in an error that scored Michelle Forrester with the winning run, and Hillgrove held on for the victory.
Kathryn Jackson was 2-for-3 for the Lady Hawks.
Abby Evans gave up two earned runs off eight hits and struck out four for the complete-game victory.
Kennesaw Mountain 3, Brookwood 0: The Lady Mustangs’ four previous trips to the state finals had resulted in opening-round losses.
They finally changed their fortunes.
Malea Bell led off the game with a first-pitch home run, and Maddie Lewis added a two-run shot in the fifth to extend the margin.
Mount Paran scores second-place finishes: The Eagles assured that both of their cross country teams would advance to next week’s state championships in Carrollton, excelling in the Area 4A meet at the Darlington School.
The Mount Paran boys scored 72 points to finish second behind Darlington (53).
Joey Carr led the Eagles with a third-place time of 16 minutes, 57 seconds. Also contributing were Andrew Mezei (ninth, 18:18), Holt Shannon (13th, 18:23), Jake Landon (20th, 18:39) and Graham Kington (27th, 19:15).
The Mount Paran girls were second with 66 points, also behind Darlington (35).
Emily Blom (21:05) was fifth overall, backed by Makenzie Kitchens (12th, 22:30), Emily Spillane (15th, 22:40), Madison Long (19th, 23:12) and Emma Johnson (20th, 23:21).
Mount Paran will compete for the Class A private school titles Nov. 9, with a 1:25 p.m. start for the boys, and 2:05 for the girls.