Bethlehem Christian Academy claimed its second region championship this calendar year Thursday, Oct. 3, defeating The Heritage School 7-3 in Newnan to capture the GISA Region 1-AAA title.
The Knights (7-6, 4-1 region) scored three runs in the top of the first inning to grab an early lead, tacked on four runs late and rode a solid pitching performance from junior Clancy Bourbeau.
Bourbeau went the distance, allowing three unearned runs on two hits while striking out seven. She worked around trouble most of the day and struggled with control — walking seven and hitting three batters — but stranded 11 Hawks on the base paths. She also went 3-for-4 at the plate with a double and two RBIs to help her case.
BCA got off to a quick start as Lindzie Owen led off the game with a single, stole second and scored on an RBI single by Taylor Buckner. Bourbeau drove in Buckner with a single and the Knights added another run later in the inning on an RBI single by Hannah Still, who went 3-for-4 with a pair of runs driven in.
Heritage cut into the lead in the fourth on a throwing error that made it 3-1, but the Knights came back with a run in the fifth when Buckner singled with one out, stole second and scored on an RBI single by Bourbeau. Still led off the fifth with a single, moved to second on the play and later scored on a passed ball to make it 5-1.
Bourbeau hit a one-out double in the seventh, and courtesy runner Grace Fort came around to score on an RBI single by Audrey Fry. Still followed with an RBI triple that extended the lead to 7-1.
The Hawks pushed across two runs in the bottom of the inning on RBI singles after an error and a pair of hit batsmen, that bringing the tying run to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded. But Bourbeau finished with a strikeout to end it.
Jadyn Goddard went 2-for-4 with a double for BCA, while Owen and Buckner added two hits apiece.
After going 17-0 and winning the GICAA state championship in the spring, the Knights have an opportunity to win another title in GISA Class AAA this fall.
BCA will receive an opening-round bye in the 12-team state playoffs and will host either the No. 2 seed from Region 3 or the No. 3 seed from Region 4 in a best-of-three state quarterfinal series, beginning Saturday, Oct. 19.