Wildcats top Wolfpack to reach state quarterfinals

Woodland outfielder Michiah Hicks.
Michiah Hicks had five hits including a home run, a double, and three RBIs as Woodland swept a second round state playoff series Thursday with Greenbrier.

The Woodland softball team swept a home playoff doubleheader with Greenbrier Thursday to advance to the GHSA Class AAAAA state quarterfinals next Tuesday.

Woodland, the No. 2-seed from Region 7-AAAAA, won the opening game in the best-of-three series 2-1 and took the second game 7-4. Greenbrier, the No. 4-seed from Region 8-AAAAA, had its season come to a close with a 17-14 record. The visiting Wolfpack didn’t take long to get on the scoreboard in Game 1. Megan Steinmeyer hit a leadoff home run to give Greenbrier an early 1-0 lead. That advantage held until Woodland scored the go-ahead runs in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Michiah Hicks — who had three hits in the game — drove in a run with a double and Kailey Baker later scored when Greenbrier turned a double play. Ansley Evans had walked earlier in the inning and Hannah Miller added a base hit in the frame.

Woodland pitcher Lainey Baker tossed a three-hitter in the opener. She walked four and fanned six. Greenbrier’s Alyssa Bedenbaugh (6 IP, 2ER, 9H, 3BB, 9K) was the losing pitcher. Cambrie Carrington had two hits for the Wildcats. Jessica Ryan, Dylynn Motes, Ansley Evans, and Hannah Miller added one hit each.

In Game 2, Woodland — playing as the visiting team on their home field — grabbed a 5-0 lead through the first four innings to take control.

Hannah Miller smacked a grand slam in the top of the third after a walk to Ansley Evans was sandwiched by singles from Cassie Jones and Hicks. Jones then delivered again in the fourth with an RBI double to drive in Motes who had doubled to lead off the frame.

Steinmeyer hit her second home run of the day in the bottom of the fifth and Molly Anton had a two-RBI single in the sixth to make the score 5-3. Steinmeyer followed with an RBI single and the Wolfpack had narrowed the lead to 5-4.

The Wildcats responded in the top of the sixth, however.

Evans led off the inning with a single and Hicks followed with a two-run home run to centerfield. Greenbrier added a run in the bottom of the seventh on three hits but Woodland pitcher Lainey Baker was able to end the game with a strikeout and a groundout. Baker scattered ten hits and four walks in Game 2. She struck out eleven. Steinmeyer (7 IP, 7ER, 9H, 3BB, 5K) was again the losing pitcher in the finale’. Hicks (2 RBIs) and Jones (double, RBI) led the Wildcats’ offense with two hits each. Evans, Miller (grand slam), Kailey Baker, Lainey Baker, and Motes contributed one hit apiece.

As a No. 2-seed, Woodland (24-9) will host its quarterfinal series against the Jones County-Northside, Columbus winner. Jones County is the No. 3-seed from Region 4-AAAAA and Northside-Columbus is the No. 4-seed from Region 2-AAAAA.

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