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Woodland sweeps East Paulding, advances in region playoff and secures state berth

Woodland softball swept a Region 7-AAAAA playoff doubleheader with East Paulding Thursday night at home to win their best-of-three series and advance to play Kell Monday in the region semifinals.

Host and 4th-seeded Woodland won the series opener 8-6 and took the nightcap, 6-4.

The Lady Cats took an 8-1 lead into the sixth inning in Game 1 and held off a late charge from the Raiders for the 8-6 victory.

Woodland pitcher Sarah Baynard (7 IP, 6R, 5ER, 9H, 3BB, 3K) tossed the first of two complete games to pick up the series opening win in the circle.

Brittany Cox and Ansley Evans (triple) had one hit and drove in two runs each. Caroline Higdon drove in a run with one hit. Audrey Morris (double) and Bella Carnes had the other Woodland base hits.

In the series clincher, Woodland — playing as the visiting team and batting first — took a 5-1 lead to the sixth inning. East Paulding rallied for three runs in the bottom of the sixth however, to narrow the margin to 5-4. The Lady Cats added an insurance run in the top of the seventh for a 6-4 lead and Baynard sat down the Lady Raiders in order to secure the doubleheader sweep.

Baynard (7 IP, 4ER, 6H, 1BB, 2K) again earned the pitching win for Woodland.

Evans had a three-hit game for the Lady Cats and drove in one run. Jordan Duck (3 RBIs) and Skylar Chappell (double) had two hits each. Higdon added a triple and two RBIs. Morgan Bailey had one hit.

East Paulding’s season ends with an 11-14 record.

Woodland (12-13) advances to play at Kell Monday and has also secured a berth in the Class AAAAA state playoffs. The starting time for the matchup with Kell has yet to be announced.

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