Woodland playoff run ends with state quarterfinal loss; Roberts announces retirement
The 2020 state playoff run by the Woodland Wildcats came to a close Wednesday afternoon with a 10-1, third-game loss to Jones County in the two teams’ best-of-3 quarterfinal series. Due to the wet weather, Game 3 of the series was moved from the Woodland campus to the sports turf field at Hamilton Crossing Park.
Game 3 was necessary after the two teams split a doubleheader Tuesday. Jones County won the first game 5-0 and Woodland won Game 2, 8-6 in eight innings. In the rubber game Wednesday, Woodland opened the scoring on an RBI single by Michiah Hicks in the bottom of the third. From that point forward, however, all the scoring belonged to the visiting Greyhounds.
Destin Howard hit a two-run home run in the top of the fourth for a 2-1 Jones County advantage. Shayla Pennington forced home two more runs in the fifth on a Woodland miscue and Howard followed with her second home run of the game to make the score 7-1.
Jones County added three more insurance runs in the top of the seventh on with three hits and a sacrifice fly in the inning.
Howard also took care of business in the pitching circle. She earned her second pitching win of the series with a complete game effort. Howard scattered three hits and three walks. She fanned two.
Lainey Baker, who had one of Woodland’s three base hits, was the losing pitcher. She worked all seven innings, allowing five earned runs on ten hits and three walks. Baker struck out seven.
Hannah Miller and Hicks had the other Wildcats' hits.
Woodland coach Colman Roberts announced his retirement after the game, ending his 18-year run with the program. Roberts finishes with a 390-254 record. His teams made it to state 13 times, reached the Sweet 16 five times and advanced to the Elite 8 twice, including this year.
Jones County (26-12) advances to the GHSA Class AAAAA Final Four in Columbus Friday and Saturday. Woodland concluded its deepest run in the state playoffs since 2004 with a 25-11 record.