The Banks County Middle School softball team earned the title of 2016 Mountain League Champions by going 3-0 in tournament play. In the first two games, Banks County defeated Rabun County, 14-1, and Union County, 2-1. The championship game was against Habersham County Middle School.
The two teams passed the lead back and forth several times, but in the end, the Leopards pulled out the 6-5 win.
Banks was down 5-4 in the bottom of the seventh when Jacy Ayers tripled to left center to get things going. Then, Madison Cronic doubled to score Ayers and tie the game at 5-5.
Cronic went to third on an error by Habersham and scored the winning run on a wild pitch to end the game.
Brylie Warner was the winning pitcher, going seven innings, giving up seven hits, one earned run, two walks and one strikeout.
It is the first ever championship win for the Banks County Middle School.
The 2016 season stat leaders at the plate were Cronic with a .442 batting average, Ayers with a .333 batting average and Brayden Staton with a .318 average.
In the circle, the team's pitchers were effective. Warner pitched 52 innings and only gave up 11 earned runs with 29 strikeouts and a 1.46 ERA. Ayers pitched 30 innings and allowed 17 earned runs and struck out 40 with a 3.96 ERA.