Prep Softball: Martin's 3 homers power Lady Vikings back to Elite 8By STAFF REPORTS
SPRINGFIELD – The Northgate Lady Vikings softball team’s hopes of winning a second straight state title stayed alive Thursday afternoon as they advanced to next week’s Class AAAAA Elite 8 in Columbus with a 12-3 victory over Effingham County on the road in coastal Georgia.
Northgate heads to the Elite 8 with a No. 2-ranking in the most recent Gasports.com Class AAAAAA Coaches poll and a 29-8 record.
Thursday afternoon, however, Northgate left little doubt that it intended to get back to Columbus and contend for another state title with a stellar offensive performance.
The Lady Vikings out-hit Effingham County 15-2, scoring runs in all five innings and also turning the game into their on version of home run derby by hitting four on the day.
Senior first baseman Andie Martin, who has verbally committed to play college softball at Western Kentucky, put on a hitting clinic for the Lady Vikings, belting three home runs and finishing with seven RBIs.
Jenna Pealor also got into the home run act for the Lady Vikings as part of her two-hit performance. Pealor also had two RBIs.
The Lady Vikings led 7-0 after three innings, scoring two runs each in the first and second innings and pushing three more across the plate in the third.
Any hope Effingham County had at staging a comeback ended when the Lady Vikings pushed four more runs across the plate in the fourth.
The Lady Rebels scored thee times in the fifth for their only runs of the contest, but it was not enough to keep the game going as the Lady Vikings ended the game by the mercy rule.
Katie Sachs went 3-for-3 with an RBI and Ebonee Echols had two hits and an RBI.
McKenzie Peace picked up the win from the mound for Northgate, pitching all five innings, giving up just one earned run and striking out two.
Both Northgate and East Coweta will begin play in Columbus next Thursday with hopes of bringing home state titles to Coweta County.
East Coweta will playing in Columbus and the Elite 8 for the eight year in a row after beating Colquitt County twice on Wednesday.