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Surprising BA not done yet

Bulloch Academy vs. Stratford
Noon, Dublin
GISA Class AAA State Playoffs

    And then there were four.
    The Bulloch Academy Lady Gators are one of just four teams still standing at the end of a long and grueling 2012 fast-pitch softball season.
    Bulloch, Stratford Academy, Westfield School and Mount de Sales will battle each other today in the GISA Class AAA Final Four tournament at Southern Pines Recreation Complex in Dublin. BA (21-11) will take on the Stratford Eaglettes at noon in the double-elimination tournament.
    “We’ve played the hardest schedule in the state,” said BA head coach Chandler Dennard. “It paid off for us Thursday. We’ve played all three teams and, although we’re 2-4 against them, every game has been competitive.”
    After the dust clears today, the season will be over for two teams while the other two will return to Southern Pines on Oct. 20 for the best two-of-three series to determine the state champion.
    The Class AA Final Four tournament will also be held at Southern Pines today and will feature Piedmont Academy, Randolph Southern, Crisp Academy and Flint River Academy.
    To get to their first-ever Class AAA Final Four, the Lady Gators pulled off an incredible upset of Tattnall Square Academy Thursday in the best-of-three series during the second round of the GISA Class AAA state softball playoffs.
    In the third and deciding game, Bulloch was down 6-3 going into the top of the seventh inning. Miraculously, the Lady Gators scored five runs with timely hitting and a little help from several TSA throwing errors.
    “We went from trailing 6-3 and running out of outs in the seventh inning with only one person on base,” said Dennard, “to all of a sudden collecting some hits and taking advantage of three errors to lead 8-6. It was one of the craziest things I’ve ever seen in my life. It was amazing.”
    In the game, Ashley Burke, Mary Margaret Reeves and Page Spence had two hits each for the Lady Gators. Kaleigh Sisolak had a solo home run.
    “We had a really good day hitting the ball,” said Dennard. “We had some really key hits when we needed them.”
    Madelyn Vickery and Lauren Dennard combined to scatter 15 hits over the seven innings for the victory.
    TSA won Game One 4-3 earlier in the afternoon.
    Tattnall took a 3-0 lead but Bulloch added two in the top of the fourth. The Lady Trojans added one in the bottom of the inning for a 4-2 lead and BA could only answer with one.
    Haley Mock had two hits for Bulloch while Powell Fennell added one but had two RBI.
    The Lady Gators rallied in Game Two for a 4-3 victory to force the third and deciding contest..
    “We were down 3-1 in the bottom of the sixth,” said Dennard. “We scored three and held.”
    Mock was 2-for-3 with two RBI. Reeves also had two hits. Madelyn Vickery was the winning pitcher, limiting TSA to just two hits.