Excel softball improves potential state playoff odds; Gibson tosses 3-inning no hitter

The Excel Christian Academy softball team dramatically improved its state playoff berth chances Thursday night with a pair of wins over Mount Pisgah. The two teams had to complete a previously started game that had gone to extra frames and then played a complete second region game. The game that was continued went nine innings after heading to extra innings tied 7-7. The Lady Eagles, playing as the visiting team, scored a run in the top of the eighth on a passed ball. Mt. Pisgah answered, however, with an RBI double and almost scored a game-winner. ECA shortstop Whitney Harris gunned down a potential game-winning base runner at homeplate in the bottom of the inning to extend the game to the ninth. Excel scored four runs in the top of the ninth, then held on for a 13-9 victory in Game 1. Aliza Baker, who finished 5-for-6 in the doubleheader, had four hits in the first game. Game 2 was dominated by Excel Christian. Taylor Gibson tossed a three inning no-hitter was the Lady Eagles routed the visitors, 17-0. Rachel Parrott and Brighton McCollum had two hits each for ECA. Hannah Cauthen, Xena Inos, Whitney Harris, and Baker also added hits. "Those two wins should help us a lot," noted Excel coach Eric Harris. "We were thirteenth in the GHSA power ratings earlier this week and have to finish in the top sixteen to get into the state playoffs. Those two wins should help secure our position a little better."

Excel is scheduled for a makeup game with North Cobb Christian Friday, but with rain moving in that game appears unlikely. "We have three games next week," said Harris. "I'm not sure when we will get that game made up. All these remaining games are important though." The Lady Eagles travel to Fellowship Christian Monday, followed by home games with King's Ridge Tuesday and Christian Heritage Thursday.

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