MOULTRIE – The Colquitt County softball team will return to the site of perhaps the program’s most memorable moment when it goes to Lowndes on Tuesday for the Region 1-7A championship series.
Several members of the 2020 team were there when the Lady Packers won the school’s first fast-pitch region title last October at Lowndes.
Colquitt swept the first two games best-of-3 series over the defending champion Vikettes, taking the second game – and the region title - on a dramatic walk-off base hit by Sarah Harrell.
“People still come up to me and talk about that and how special it was,” said coach Chance Pitts. “And it was special. Now there’s that buzz in the air again. These girls want to be the first to win back-to-back region championships.”
It won’t be easy.
The Vikettes won three of the four regular-season meetings with the Lady Packers, sweeping the two on their home field and splitting the two in Moultrie.
The Lowndes girls are 19-6 overall and 10-2 in the region. The Lady Packers are 16-8, 9-3.
But Pitts likes his team’s chances in the series, which starts with a doubleheader on Tuesday and a deciding game, if necessary, on Wednesday.
Tuesday’s first game is scheduled to start at 5 p.m.
Not only are the Lady Packers playing better down the stretch, Pitts said he also is hearing from others who believe Colquitt might be the team to beat.
“We’ve talked to coaches who have played both of us who think we are the toughest team they have played,” Pitts said. “And I think we’ve got the sticks, got the role players and got the pitchers. I think we are a complete team.”
Colquitt will be short of pitching, however, with senior Kyla Morris currently in quarantine. She is expected to be back for the first round of the state playoffs, which start Oct. 20. Colquitt will play host to a first-round series.
Pitts said Emily Allegood will start Tuesday’s first game against Lowndes in the circle. She is 5-1 with a 2.25 ERA and has struck out 50 batters while issuing just 18 bases on balls in nine starts.
Perhaps her most impressive outing of the season came on Sept. 24, when she shut out the Vikettes 1-0. She allowed just three hits in the eight-inning victory.
Asked about his pitching plans for the second game, Pitts said he would evaluate how many pitches Allegood threw before making that decision.
“And Jade is still there,” Pitts said of senior Jade Horne. “And I’ve got a little freshman I don’t mind throwing out there.”
Horne was the winning pitcher in the first game of the region championship series at Lowndes last year and pitched 5.1 innings in the second game.
Morris was the beneficiary of Harrell’s dramatic hit and got the win.
Horne is 4-4 this year with a 4.43 ERA.
The “little freshman” is left-hander Maris Hopper, who is 1-1 with a 1.47 ERA.
Offensively, the Lady Packers are led by senior third baseman Abby Plymel, who leads the team in hitting (.425), doubles (12) and runs batted in (19).
Leadoff hitter Katlynn Powers is hitting .379 with nine doubles, two home runs and 14 runs driven in. Her on-base percentage is a nifty .481.
Catcher Madison Plymel, Abby’s little sister, is hitting .373 and has driven in 17 runs. Julia Duncan is hitting .343.
Allegood leads the Lady Packers with four home runs. She, too, has driven home 17 runs.
Morgan Holder is hitting .338 with 14 RBIs and Jacey Wetherington has a .328 batting average and 12 runs driven in.
Since dropping the second game of the home doubleheader against Lowndes on Sept. 24, the Lady Packers have won six in a row, including a 10-0 victory over Cairo last Tuesday.