LILBURN - Ace pitching bottled up hot hitting in Tuesday's Region 8-AAAAA softball tournament quarterfinals at Parkview.
Dacula's Allie Miles (9-4) struck out 19 in no-hitting Parkview, as the Falcons won 2-0 and secured a return trip to sectionals. The victory over the Panthers (17-8) advanced the Falcons (12-11) to today's 7 p.m. game against Brookwood, which secured a spot in sectionals by beating Grayson.
"Allie Miles is one of the best in the state," said Falcons coach Tracy Keefer. "When she's on, we have a chance."
Parkview entered the game on a hitting tear that Panthers' coach Joey Farah credited for his team's rebound from a 3-5 start to 17-7 entering the postseason. Sara Coker came in hitting a team-high .414 with a homer and Summer Rose was batting .402 with a round-tripper as well. Sarah McFall was hitting .390.
But all came up empty against Miles, who began the game with a 0.57 ERA and wound up two walks and two hit batters from perfect. She left Parkview fighting for a sectionals bid in today's 5 p.m. game against Shiloh.
The Falcons got all the offense they needed in the top of the sixth inning. Katie McMillian led off with a double to left, and after being sacrificed to third, scored on Alex Payne's single to center. Amber Carr plated Brittany Taylor on a groundout for the final margin. Keefer predicted such a low scoring game, especially with Miles on the rubber opposite Parkview ace Rose (12-3). In 14 years at Dacula, Keefer said she's seen ace pitching often shut down hot hitting teams in the postseason.
"The way pitchers are keeping hitting down lately, one or two runs is often the difference," she said.
Brookwood 2, Grayson 0
Julia Westbrook homered to right in the sixth inning for the final margin in the other quarterfinal, after the Broncos had gone ahead 1-0 on a rundown overthrow at third.
Central Gwinnett 7, South Gwinnett 2
Sierra Fay, who batted 2-for-3 with two doubles, keyed Central's three-run fifth in a losers' bracket game. The Black Knights then added two runs in the sixth and another two in the seventh to advance to face Grayson at 3 p.m. today at Parkview.
"We had no life whatsoever, but Sierra sparked our fire just when we needed it," said Central coach Nathan Berryman.