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Lady Devils go for region title
Statesboro senior Jania Joseph leaps over a hurdle as she would take first place in the 100 hurdles Saturday in the 51st annual Statesboro Relays held at Womack Field. - photo by JOSH AUBREY

It’s been a successful season so far for the Statesboro Blue Devil softball team. The Blue Devils are currently 18-5 overall, and earned the number one seed in the region tournament with a 7-1 record. Their lone blemish came in a 2-1 loss to Wayne County, which they avenged last week sweeping the Yellow Jackets in the opening round of the region tournament 5-0, and 13-0.

Wednesday the Blue Devils have an opportunity to achieve one of their goals, something the Blue Devils haven’t been able to achieve since moving to fastpitch, winning the region tournament, and earning the number one seed in next week’s state tournament.

“We are one step away from one of our big goals,” said Statesboro coach Jim Simmons. “Winning he region is huge. Not only would this be a first, but it would help us secure home field advantage for most of the state tournament.”

The past three years the Blue Devils have advanced to the state Class-AAAAA tournament, but each year it has been as a number two or number three seed. Because of that the Blue Devils have had to play on the road, and that is where their season has come to a close every year.

“There’s no doubt that it’s a lot better for us to play at home, rather than have to hit the road,” Simmons said. “Not only have we had to go on the road, but we have had to play some pretty tough teams as well.”

A win in the region tournament would allow the Blue Devils not only to play at home, where they are 11-0, but it would also pair them up with a favorable team in the opening round. A victory would send the number four seed to Statesboro. The past few years the Blue Devils have had to deal with a three seed coming to town, or going on the road as a three seed themselves.

To do  this the Blue Devils will have to knock off the Ware County Gators, who beat South Effingham on the road in Guton in a third and decisive game in round one of the region tournament last week.

“Ware County is definitely a good team,” Simmons said. “They have a new pitcher, but a lot of the same hitters that we have seen the past few years. We will have to play well to beat them.”

The Blue Devils swept the Gators in their previous two meetings, winning 6-0 on August 28th in Waycross, and winning 1-0 in eight innings at Mill Creek park on Sept. 17.

Statesboro and Ware County will play game one Wednesday at 4:00, with game two at approximately 6:00. If the two teams spit game three will take place Thursday at 5:00 at Mill Creek.