Bulloch County hasn’t exactly been known as a hotbed for softball talent, but this year three of the four County schools not only advanced to the state playoffs, but are all still kicking heading into the second round.
The first group to play in round two is the Bulloch Academy Gators. The Gators have shown flashes of brilliance throughout the season — knocking off Southeast Bulloch and playing Statesboro to a 2-1 loss — but they were inconsistent in region play and entered the state as a No. 3 seed.
Earlier this week the Gators put it all together on the road in Thomasville where they swept second-seeded Brookwood 5-0 in game one and 10-4 in game two.
“We prepared all week for Brookwood, who is a small ball team,” Bulloch coach Kyle Chambers said. “We stuck to the game plan, the girl’s executed it, and it was a great all round team victory.”
Up next for the Gators is a team they are quite familiar with — Westfield out of Perry Georgia. The Gators lost to Westfield in Statesboro 11-3 earlier this year and that is notable as the three runs are the most the Hornets have surrendered in a game this season. Westfield also happens to have a perfect 20-0 record.
“Going in, I feel like we are a better defensive team,” said Chambers, “But they have offensive firepower and solid pitching. They are going to put runs on the board, we just have to be sure to make the plays in the field.”
The Gators will be hoping pitcher Baylee Howard can continue her solid play and offensively Chambers has been happy with the way senior Mackenzie Crooms has been swinging the bat.
“Baylee has been solid on the mound, and I’m proud of the way Mackenzie has stepped up after a slow start.” said Chambers, “ Offensively we are swinging the bats as well as we have all year.”
The Gators and Hornets get things underway Saturday in Perry with game one scheduled for 2 p.m. and game two slated for 4 p.m. If necessary, a third game will be played after the first two.