Columbus – It wasn’t the prettiest of pitching lines by Archer’s Nani Cabrales, but when she needed an out, she got it.
Cabrales struck out four and allowed 10 hits, but stranded seven Kennesaw Mountain runners as the Lady Tigers won 7-4 the Class AAAAAA final, completing an unbeaten run in the state finals tournament.
Cabrales had some help. Center fielder Jacqui Switzer ran down a drive into the gap in the top of the fifth that would have scored a run for the Lady Mustangs (33-5-2).
Alliyah Williams had three hits and scored two runs for Archer, which won the state championship in just its fourth year of competition. Her RBI single in the sixth inning plated a key run.
Archer (33-7) scored a pair of runs in the second and two more in the fourth for a 4-0 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth Kennesaw Mountain capitalized on a two-out error, scoring runs on RBI singles by ReBekah Farris and Maddi Lewis to cut the lead to 4-2.
Archer scored single runs in the fifth and sixth to go up 6-2, and Kennesaw Mountain again cut the lead to two on Kathryn Woody’s two-run single.
Jenna Graham’s two-out single in the top of the seventh plated an insurance run for Archer, and Cabrales escaped a jam in the seventh to complete the win.
Kennesaw Mountain ended Collins Hill’s run of softball championships in the state’s highest classification with a 2-1 win in the loser’s bracket finals Saturday morning.
Class AAAAA: Union Grove (32-7-2) beat Pope 1-0 and 4-3 to claim the AAAAA crown. In the first game, the Lady Wolverines won in eight innings despite being no-hit by Pope pitcher Kelli Barnhill. Courtney Kenney, who started the eighth on second base under international tiebreaker rules, was sacrificed to third and scored on a passed ball.
In the second game, Pope (29-7) scored twice in the first inning but Union Grove capitalized on four walks to score four runs in the fifth, highlighted by a two-run double by Haleigh Vernon.
Union Grove center fielder Katie Spinks robbed Pope’s Ellyn Strother of a game-tying home run before crashing through the fence in the top of the seventh.
Class AAAA: Bayli Cruse’s walk-off home run in the bottom of the eighth gave Northwest Whitfield (35-3) a 2-1 win over Madison County (34-8).
Emily Boyd pitched a complete game for Northwest Whitfield, striking out seven batters. Madison County took the lead in the top of the eight on a Northwest Whitfield error.
Class AAA: Buford (32-3) got a complete-game shutout from Bria Bush in clinching its sixth straight state championship with a 4-0 win over Ringgold (32-8).
The Lady Wolves, who won the first five titles in Class AA , got homers from Jordan Deep and Noah Sudderth. Bush struck out six as Buford completed an unbeaten run in the finals tournament. Niki Cook singled and scored in the first ining on an RBI single by Tessa Daniels. Deep’s two-run shot in the third made it 3-0, and Sudderth’s homer in the sixth pushed it to 4-0.
Class AA: Dade County (22-14) dropped the first game to Wesleyan in the championship round, 8-7, but bounced back for an 8-3 win in the clincher, punctuated by a grand slam from Hailey Gass in the top of the seventh inning.
Class A Public: Gordon Lee beat Georgia Military 6-4 in the first came and 3-0 in the clincher to claim its third straight state crown. The Lady Trojans won three loser’s bracket games to get to the final round.
In the clincher, Kalei Kimbrell pitched a complete game, striking out four and allowing six hits. The Lady Trojans got an RBI single from Reagan Brown and Tiffany Holland drew a bases-loaded walk to go up 2-0 in the second inning, and Brown’s RBI single in the fourth made it 3-0.
Class A Private: Mt. Pisgah (25-9) got a pair of home runs from Courtney Condon in a comeback 9-8 win for the title. Madison Claytor’s two-out single in the bottom of the seventh tied the game at 6, and two batters later Condon belted a three-run shot over the right-field fence. Condon also pitched the complete game, escaping a seventh-inning rally by Prince Avenue (25-12).