Apalachee junior pitcher Emily Hodnett was perfect in the circle and got plenty of run support early Tuesday, Sept. 17, as the Wildcats routed Lanier 10-0 in five innings on the road.

With the victory, the Wildcats snapped a two-game losing skid, capped a three-game season sweep of the Longhorns and solidified their grip on second place in the GHSA Region 8-AAAAAA standings behind Dacula.

Hodnett retired all 15 batters she faced, striking out nine of them and allowing just two balls to be out of the infield. She also helped her case offensively, going 2-for-4 with a double and three RBIs.

Morgan Reynolds led Apalachee (11-8-1, 8-3 region) going 3-for-3 with two runs driven in as her RBI triple highlighted a three-run first inning. The Wildcats got five more runs in the second on Madyson Coe’s two-run double, followed by RBI singles by Hodnett and Reynolds, and then piled on two more in the third on Hodnett’s two-run double.

The Wildcats bounced back in region play after a disappointing 10-2 loss in five innings at home to Dacula (18-3, 11-0) on Sept. 12. They also dropped a non-region contest to Archer at home on Sept. 16, 8-3. Hodnett was tagged for 10 runs (only three earned) in the loss to Dacula.

Apalachee will host Gainesville in another region contest at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19. The Wildcats, who have clinched a state playoff berth, hold a two-game lead over Habersham Central (10-7, 6-5) for second place in the region with four games left. Those two teams split their first two meetings and will play for a third and final time Sept. 26.

SOFTBALL: WBHS routed by Dacula

Dacula jumped out in front quickly with a five-run first inning at home Sept. 17 and cruised from there to a 9-1 victory in five innings over visiting Winder-Barrow.

The Bulldoggs (6-13, 4-7) were limited to four hits by Dacula junior Sydney Boulware, who struck out six batters against three walks in five innings of work. Winder-Barrow’s lone run came on a solo homer by Marissa Metz in the second. Dayton Power, Rachel Harwell and Kendal Miller also hit safely.

The Bulldoggs currently hold a one-game lead over Lanier for the fourth and final playoff spot in Region 8-AAAAAA. They have beaten the Longhorns twice and will play them for a third and final time at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, at home.

SOFTBALL: BCA outlasts LCA in wild region contest

Despite committing eight errors Sept. 17, Bethlehem Christian Academy supplied just enough offense and held off Loganville Christian 13-12 on the road in a wild GISA Region 1-AAA battle.

Lindzie Owen, Clancy Bourbeau and Audrey Fry had three hits and a triple apiece to fuel the Knights (3-4, 2-0 region).

Bourbeau was charged with 12 runs (but only two earned) and got the win after working 6 2/3 innings. Mary Lyndsey Wyatt entered the circle with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh and got a pop out in foul territory to the catcher, Owen, to preserve the win.

BCA will host Creekside at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, before returning to region action Monday, Sept. 23 at The Heritage School in Newnan.

VOLLEYBALL: AHS, WBHS pick up area wins

Apalachee went 2-0 while Winder-Barrow bounced back after a loss to Habersham Central to pick up a win over ninth-ranked Gainesville in three sets Tuesday, Sept. 17, in GHSA Area 8-AAAAAA matches at Dacula High School.

The Wildcats (26-3, 4-1 area) handed Habersham Central (20-1, 5-1) its first loss of the season, taking the first set, 25-23 and — following a 25-15 setback in the second set — winning the third set 15-11. Apalachee then made quick work of Dacula (25-12, 25-14). The Wildcats have now won 12 straight contests.

Apalachee has a non-area match at Oconee County scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19.

Winder-Barrow (25-12, 2-3) took the first set against Habersham 25-22 but then fell 25-20 and 15-11 in the next two sets to drop the match before the win over Gainesville. The Bulldoggs were coming off a strong showing Sept. 14 in a tournament at the Southern Volleyball Center in Alpharetta, where they went 3-2 on the day and won the Silver Bracket.

Both Apalachee and Winder-Barrow will be back in area action Tuesday, Sept. 24, at Gainesville, including a 7 p.m. match against each other, their second meeting of the season (Apalachee won the first). The Wildcats will also face Gainesville at 5 p.m., while the Bulldoggs will take on Lanier at 6 p.m.

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