Tuesday, June 19, 2018  
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From Staff Reports
It wouldn’t be a GISA AAA softball championship series without Westfield battling the Stratford Academy Eagles. In 2012, the schools did not disappoint in setting up this final pairing for the third year in a row.
But will this be the year that the Hornets, under first-year head coach Kyle Davis, finally get the best of former Atlanta Braves infielder Jeff Treadway and Stratford? Or, will the Eagles be celebrating for the fourth year in a row, a feat that would match what John Milledge Academy pulled off from 2002-5?
The scene, as it was in 2010 and 2011, is the Southern Pines Complex in Dublin Saturday beginning at noon. It was in Dublin this past Saturday that Davis and the Hornets won two tight semifinal contests to qualify for the finals. Stratford, meanwhile, survived the final elimination game, something it did in the previous two championship seasons.
Nowhere to be found, though, were the Tattnall Square Trojans. Bulloch Academy’s Gators shocked the GISA by winning the second-round series against TSA in Macon, and Bulloch squared off with Westfield in the game that would send the winner to this weekend’s finals.
Westfield jumped out to a 3-0 lead only to give it up in a four-run third inning. Playing as the home team, the Hornets were still down by one, 6-5, going into the sixth inning.
Chelsea Whaley led off the inning with a game-tying solo home run that hit the foul pole in left. It was her second home run of the day.
Laura Johnson followed with a single and moved to second on a bunt by Hannah Livingston.
“Hannah Edwards then hit a deep fly in which the leftfielder from Bulloch made a leaping catch up against the fence to keep the game tied,” said Davis. “Jenni McDaniel then hits a two-out RBI single up the middle to score Johnson. This turned out to be the winning run.”
With Sydney Barker pitching a scoreless top of the seventh, Westfield won 7-6. All six runs Bulloch scored were earned, and the Gators had 10 hits and did not strike out at the plate.
Edwards, just as she did in the second-round series against Loganville Christian, batted with the bases loaded and doubled to drive in Westfield’s three runs in the first inning.
The Hornets went into the second inning bidding for more.
“We loaded up the bases after walks by Hannah Kate Jones and Liza McDaniel and then a single by Callie Hammerle,” said Davis. “Barker then flew out to center but not deep enough to score Jones from third. Whaley then hit a laser that was snagged by the shortstop, who doubled off Jones at third.”
Bulloch used five straight hits to score four in the third. Three of those were doubles. The Gators also had five hits in scoring two in the top of the fifth. The Hornets got those runs back in the home half, Johnson setting things up with a hit and Edwards driving in a run for the fourth time.
Bulloch beat Stratford at the same time as Westfield was competing with Mt. de Sales to start Saturday’s action. The Hornets won 7-4, but it was another rough outing for Barker with 11 hits, six walks and three earned runs allowed.
The Cavaliers were up 3-2 after two innings by taking advantage of two errors and a hit batter.
Whaley, who already had one RBI, brought home Hammerle, who led off the bottom of the third with a triple, to tie the game 3-3. It was 4-4 after four innings, but the Hornets went ahead for good in the fifth.
Livingston started the inning with a bunt single and moved to second on a bunt from Edwards. Jenni McDaniel singled in the winning run. Whaley belted a two-out, two-run home run in the sixth. It gave Whaley four RBI, and Hammerle was on base to score her third run.

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