From day 1 this season, Bryan County High School softball coach Al Butler felt the Lady Redskins had the potential to win a state championship.
“If we can work hard and get things done every day and we can stay committed and keep our eyes on the prize, this group cannot be denied,” Butler said earlier this season.
He made that comment Aug. 11, after the first game of the season. The Lady Redskins defeated Region 2-AA rival Jeff Davis 8-
3 that day for the first of their 27 wins this year.
Butler could be proven prophetic, as Bryan County (27-10) is one of only eight teams still alive in the Class AA state playoffs.
The Lady Redskins begin play today in the Elite Eight in Columbus, facing Seminole County (20-5) at 2:30 p.m. The winner of the three-day, double-elimination tournament will be decided Saturday.
Bryan County advanced to the championship weekend by taking two of three games against Wesleyan in Norcross last week in the Sweet 16.
All three games were shutouts. BCHS won the opener 3-0, fell 2-0 in game 2 and took the third and deciding game 4-0.
Bryan County ace Brooke Barfield went the distance in all three games. Barfield allowed just two runs and 15 hits over 21 innings while striking out 20 batters.
Taylor Roop drove in all three BCHS runs in the first game. Brooke Barfield and Shelby Barfield each had two hits.
The Lady Redskins were held to one hit in game 2, but bounced back to take the series behind Layton Harrell’s two hits and two runs batted in. Kaylin Leggett had two hits and an RBI, and Shelby Barfield drove in a run.
Seminole County finished first in Region 1-AA with a 12-0 record and was a No. 1 seed for the state tournament.