By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Redskins begin Elite Eight on Wednesday

Bryan County will have its hands full if it wants to continue moving forward in the Class A-D1 state softball tournament.

The Redskins (20-6-1), ranked No. 9 in the state, are in the Elite Eight after winning last week’s Super Regional and play No. 5 Pepperell (21-2) at 11 a.m. Wednesday in Columbus in the double elimination tournament which ultimately leads to the crowning of a state champion.

The other teams in Bryan County’s bracket are No. 2 Prince Avenue Christian (25-8) and No. 4 Bacon County (20-3-1) who also play Wednesday. The two losers will play at 3 p.m. Thursday with the winners playing at 5 p.m. The state championship game is 3 p.m. Saturday.

The lower bracket includes No. 1 Heard County (22-10), No. 3 Social Circle (22-6), No. 6 Mount Vernon (25-5) and unranked Bleckley County (21-10). Heard County has won the Class AA state title the last two years.

This will be Bryan County’s second trip to Columbus in the last three years and Coach Jason Roundtree feels much better about his chances this time around.

“The last time it was a great experience for us,” Roundtree said of a sophomore dominated team which finished third in the state. “This time we can play with anybody that’s there.”

Leading the way for the Redskins is standout pitcher Hayden Joyner who is 17-5 on the season. Joyner has a 1.27 ERA and a WHIP of 0.983. She has struck out 186 hitters in 127 innings. She is 61-18 for her career.

Bekah Johnson has enjoyed another big year at the plate as she is currently hitting .474 with 25 RBI. Among her 37 hits are five home runs, a triple and 16 doubles.

Bryan County suffered a major loss in the lineup near the end of the season when right fielder McKenzie Mobley broke her right wrist while diving for a fly ball against Portal. At the time she went out Mobley, who was all-state as a sophomore, was hitting .415 with a then team high 25 RBI. She had also had a 16-game hitting streak.

Mobley’s injury necessitated some shuffling of the lineup as Johnson moved from first base to centerfield, Pascal Ellison slid over to first from third and freshman Camryn Parker was inserted at third.

Ellison is one of Bryan County’s hottest hitters as she is hitting .387 for her last 11 games, raising her batting average from .186 to .280.

Freshman shortstop Elizabeth Harvey is hitting .296 and an encouraging piece of news is catcher Skylar Lee who broke out of a hitting slump which saw her garner only one hit in 10 games before hitting safely in all three Super Regional games.

Sign up for our E-Newsletters