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Local Roundup: Trinity advances to state
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Calen Hilton finishes first in a race for Statesboro at Saturday’s Region 3-AAAA state qualifying mee at Georgia Southern’s track and field facility. The finals will be run on Monday at 5 p.m at GSU. - photo by Special
    The Trinity Christian softball team clinched a berth to the Georgia Christian Athletic Association state championship game for the second straight year with a two-game sweep of Jubilee Christian on Friday.
    The Lady Lions (11-5) will face Appling Christian Friday in Covington, Ga., for the start of a best two-out-of-three series. TCS is the defending Class A state champs.
    Trinity advanced to this weekend's championship by beating previously undefeated Jubilee Christian 7-5 and 13-5. Megan Page pitched a complete game in Game One, striking out 14 and going 2-for-2 from the plate with two RBI. Savannah Spranger was 2-for-3 with two runs and Annabeth Havner was 2-for-4 with and RBi.
    Page also got the win in Game Two to improve to 10-2, striking out three. Lauren Kibler came on in relief and struck out six of the final nine batters she faced. Havner went 2-for-2 with three runs, Kibler was 2-for-3 with an RBI and Whitney Eubanks was 4-for-4 with an RBI.

BA state runner-up
    ALBANY — For the first time in four years, the Bulloch Academy boys’ team brought back a big trophy from the GISA Class AA state track and field championships.
    The Gators tallied 40 points in the meet’s third and final day Saturday to capture second place and bring a state runner-up trophy to Statesboro.
    “We really competed well today,” said head coach Clint Morgan. “Almost all of our entries had personal bests. Everybody stepped it up a notch over the course of the meet and we were able to come away with second.”
Trinity Christian School of Dublin won its fifth consecutive boys’ title, tallying 123 points. The Gators had 86 points for second while Brookwood School was third (80), Frederica Academy was fourth (40) and Tiftarea Academy was fifth (25). Trinity, Bulloch and Frederica are all in Region 2-AA.
    “I was very pleased,” said Morgan. “From Day 1 of the track season, I knew the boys had an opportunity to win a state championship. But injuries to our top two sprinters hurt our chances. Still, there are a lot of teams who wish they could say that they are state runners-up.”
    The Lady Gators finished fourth with 62 points, just one shy of third-place Briarwood (63). Trinity Christian School won its third straight title with 125 points while Gatewood was state runner-up with 111. Brookwood School was fifth with 56.
    Individually for the Gator guys, junior Ethan Lovett was the state runner-up in the both the 110m and 300m hurdles. For the meet, Lovett tallied 27.5 points and was fourth in the High Point Trophy totals.
Freshman John Manack was the state runner-up in the 3200m run. The 4x100m relay team of Lovett, Jordan Walker, Troy Poulin and Dartavious Brown was also the state runner-up.
Other Gator scorers were the 4x400m relay team of Lovett, Poulin, Brown and Ben Stephens, third; Poulin, sixth in the 400m dash and Phillip Brunson, sixth in the 3200m run.
    Individually for the Lady Gators, freshman Kelcie Jacobs was the state runner-up in the 3200m run.
    Other Lady Gators who scored points were Rachel Gilbert, third in the 400m dash and fifth in the 200m dash; the 4x400m relay team of Gilbert, Susanna McKee, Heaven Hinton and Kaylee Lanier, third; McKee, fourth in the 400m dash; Hinton, fifth in the 300m hurdles and the 4x100m relay team of Gilbert, McKee, Hinton and Lanier, fifth.
    In Friday’s results, senior James Conner won the AA state championship in the boys’ discus with a throw of 124-11.
Walker and Sally Marie Futch were state runners-up in their respective events.
    Walker, a junior, took second in the boys’ high jump while Futch, an eighth grader, was second in the girls’ discus. Walker also had a third-place finish in the long jump while Futch was seventh in the girls’ shot.
    Lovett finished third in the boys’ pole vault while sophomore Rebekah Beasley tied for third in the girls’ pole vault. McKee was third in the girls’ 800m run and Gilbert was third in the girls’ long jump. Freshman Paul Son was third in the boys’ discus.
    Other Gators who collected points were Chan Newton, fourth in high jump; Jeremiah Masters, fourth in pole vault and Stephens, fifth in the 800m run.
    Other Lady Gators who collected points were Whitney Hinson, fifth in high jump; Hinton, sixth in discus; Abi Foy, sixth in pole vault and Jacobs, fifth in the 1600m run and sixth in 800m run.

SHS in second after Day One
    The Statesboro boys track team is in second place after the first day of competition of the Region 3-AAAA Championships being held at Georgia Southern University. Ware County has an early lead after the field events and the 1600-meter final.
    Statesboro's Paul Welle qualified for the state meet with a winning time of 4:29 in the 1600-meters. This is a personal best for Welle.
    Patrick Jenkins placed first in the triple jump with a leap of 43 feet.
    Sherrod Natson placed second in the high jump with a leap of six feet.
    All three athletes have qualified for the state meet in Jefferson, Ga.
    Athletes who have qualified for Monday's finals include: Jared Houston, Jerrit Mincey, Jenkins and Calan Hilton (400-meter relay); Welle and Cam Sutcliff (3200 meters); Tyrone McCoy and Jenkins (3200-meters); Hilton (100-meters); Orlando Rock (110 hurdles); McCoy and Matt Hill (800-meters); Hilton and Jerrit Mincey (200-meters); Rock (300 hurdles); Cedric Wynn, Welle, Hilton and  McCoy, Kentavius West, Justin Jordan, Matt Hill and Natson (1600-meter relay).
    Monday's finals will begin at 5 p.m. at Georgia Southern University.  The team is looking to repeat as region champions.
Eagles split with WCU
    CULLOWHEE, N.C. — The Georgia Southern softball team went hitless in Game One, but hit two home runs in Game Two to gain a split with Western Carolina Saturday afternoon at the Catamount Softball Complex.
    The two teams complete the three-game series today with a single game at 1 p.m.
    The Catamounts (24-31, 7-10) got all the offense they would need in the first inning of Game One. Mendy McKenzie led off with a walk and went to second on a sacrifice. Stephanie Beatty followed with an RBI double, and after a foul out, scored on a single by Mollie Fowler. Lauren Ross capped off the scoring with a two-run homer to chase GSU starter Melissa Laliberte.
    Ross (10-7) walked two and struck out four to achieve her first career no-hitter. Laliberte (8-12) was tagged for four earned runs and three hits in 0.2 innings. Senior A.J. Street went 5.1 innings and fanned four with five hits.
    The Eagles’ (23-27, 8-8) bats wasted little time in waking up in Game Two. Senior Heather Smith walked with one out and sophomore Robyne Siliga put GSU on top with a two-run homer to dead center.
    Smith added to the lead with a two-run double in the second inning, scoring freshmen Lindsey Hopkins and Elizabeth Branan.
    Freshman Jenny Side, who went 2-for-3 on the game, hit her seventh roundtripper in the fifth inning, a solo shot to center to put the Eagles comfortably ahead.
    Senior Logan Free (9-11) made the runs stand up as she shut down the Catamounts on five hits. She struck out seven and walked three for her second straight shutout and team-leading fifth of the season. WCU’s Mendy McKenzie (10-17) lasted 1.2 innings and allowed five hits and four earned runs.
    Georgia Southern will finish up the regular season with a three-game series against Appalachian State at home beginning with a doubleheader Saturday at 3 p.m.