LILBURN - Dacula pitcher Allie Miles dominated Brookwood at the end of the regular season. She also opened the Region 8-AAAAA tournament on a roll, no-hitting Parkview.
But the Broncos finally figured out Miles on Thursday afternoon.
Brookwood advanced to today's 10 a.m. region championship game with a 4-0 victory over Dacula, pounding out nine hits against the Falcons' star pitcher. But the Broncos must beat Miles again in today's finals after Dacula edged Grayson 1-0 in Thursday night's semifinals.
"To play somebody like Miles and hit like that was great," Brookwood coach Bill Batchelor said. "We played her in the last regular-season game and she shut us down. She flat shut us down. We needed to slow her down. She works fast and when she gets in a groove, it's over. We wanted to take a few more pitches. And what I'm most proud of is we scored all of our runs with two outs."
While Brandi Jones struck out four in a shutout victory, the Bronco hitters were just as impressive.
Susan Norris was 3-for-3 to lead Brookwood, while Jessica Neidigh was 2-for-2 with a double, a triple and two RBIs.
Rachel Rhodes (1-for-3, run), Jenny Blackwell (1-for-3, run, RBI, triple), Rachel Hill (1-for-3, RBI) and Emily Brantley (1-for-3, run) also had productive offensive games.
That hitting put the Broncos (20-11) within a win of their first region title since 2006. It also kept them from having to play another game Thursday evening to reach the finals.
"The girls were excited, they were pumped up," Batchelor said. "We've played very well the last two games. This is what the playoffs are all about."
Dacula 1, Grayson 0 (8 innings)
Grayson didn't have the fortune Brookwood did against Miles, as the Dacula senior was brilliant in the nightcap, pitching her team to a 1-0 victory in Thursday's semifinal.
Miles struck out 13 batters and allowed only one hit in eight innings. Grayson's Hayley Downs had her team's only hit, a bunt single with one out in the sixth that ended Miles' perfect game.
Grayson's Kanani Cabrales allowed three hits, to Cassidy Culberson, Amber Carr and Kathryn McMillian, and also was impressive. She finished with 11 strikeouts and at one point teamed with Miles to strike out 10 consecutive batters.
After Miles pitched out of a jam in the top of the eighth, Dacula finally plated the game-winner in the bottom half of the inning. Taryn Anthony moved to third base on a wild pitch, then scored on another one moments later. Both came during the at-bat of Dacula's Charlotte Sieber, who was the inning's leadoff batter.
Grayson defeated Parkview 2-1 on Thursday to earn the shot at Dacula. The Rams got a solid pitching effort from Cabrales, who struck out the last five Panthers she faced, and pushed across the winning run in the top of the seventh.
Singles from Shelby Smith and Kylie Klim, along with an error, loaded the bases, then a sacrifice fly from Keelyn Hanley brought in Smith for the game-winner.