By Wayne Grandy
MOULTRIE – The Colquitt County softball team will open the 2020 playoffs at home on Tuesday against a fellow traveler to the 2019 Elite Eight.
The Lady Packers, the No. 2 team from Region 1-7A, will play host to Parkview, which will come down from Lilburn for a best-of-3 series at Lady Packer Field in Packer Park.
The Tuesday doubleheader will start at 5 p.m. The “if” game would be held on Wednesday, also with a 5 p.m. first pitch.
Both the Lady Panthers and the Lady Packers made the trip to Columbus last fall as two of the final eight teams.
The Region 7 champions a year ago, Parkview lost its first two games in the state tournament, falling to East Coweta and North Forsyth.
The 2020 Parkview girls are the No. 3 team from Region 4 and despite their 12-15 record are ranked No. 20 in Class 7A by MaxPreps.
Colquitt’s girls lost to eventual state runner-up Grayson and Peachtree Ridge in their Elite Eight appearance last year.
Coach Chance Pitts’s 2020 Lady Packers are 17-10 and are ranked No. 13 in the state.
Pitts got a chance to see Parkview play last week and is looking forward to the opportunity to play in front of the home fans and perhaps advance to the second round again this season.
He said that although Parkview has a losing record, it will be coached “really well.”
The Lady Packers will try to put the Region 1 championship series behind them.
After defeating Lowndes in the first game 3-2, Colquitt dropped the second game of the opening day doubleheader 10-8 and then managed just three hits in a 9-0, 4 1/2 -inning deciding-game loss.
Pitts wondered if battling back from a 10-1 deficit only to fall two runs short in the second game might have affected his team the following day.
“I don’t know,” he said. “We got there and the girls were bouncing around. We didn’t look dead or anything.
“I felt like the girls battled. Sometimes it just happens. We just got beat.”
The Lady Packers pitching corps will be deeper for the Parkview with senior Kyla Morris back from a quarantine that caused her to miss the region championship series.
Morris is 4-2 with a 2.81 ERA. She has struck out 16 batters and walked 22.
Also at his disposal, Pitts will have Emily Allegood, who won the first game against the Vikettes, but took the loss in the deciding game last Wednesday.
She is 6-2 with a 2.79 ERA with 55 strikeouts. She has issued 23 bases on balls.
Also likely to pitch for the Lady Packers will be senior Jade Horne and freshman Maris Hopper.
Leadoff hitter Katlynn Powers is coming off a productive series against Lowndes.
The left fielder went 5-for-10 with two doubles, a triple and five runs driven in.
She is hitting .395 for the season with 11 doubles, a triple, three home runs and 19 RBIs.
Senior third baseman Abby Plymel is leading the team with a .396 batting average. She has a team-leading 13 doubles, a homer and 20 runs batted in.
Allegood and Madison Plymel each have driven in 18 runs this season.
If the Lady Packers can get by Parkview, they will play the survivor of the Campbell-Harrison series.
Harrison is 22-2 and is ranked No. 5 in the state.
Also in the first round, Lowndes will play host to Newton County; Tift County, which finished third in Region 1, will travel to meet Brookwood; and Camden County, the region’s No. 4 team, will get on the bus to play at No. 3 Grayson.