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Brookwood softball takes advantage of errors in sweep

Staff Photo: John Bohn Brookwood's Taylor Rinehart (17) slides into home plate to score a run during the fifth inning as North Forsyth catcher Lauren Shaw (12) is late with a tag. Rinehart's run set the score at 8 to 1 in favor of Brookwood in game 2 the second round of the state softball championships played Wednesday.
 Staff Photo: John Bohn Brookwood's Taylor Rinehart (17) singles during the third inning against North Forsyth in game 2 of the second round of the state softball championships played Wednesday.
 Staff Photo: John Bohn Brookwood pitcher Rachael Hill (22) pitches to North Forsyth during the second inning of game 2 of the second round state softball championships played Wednesday. 

Staff Photo: John Bohn Brookwood's Taylor Rinehart (17) slides into home plate to score a run during the fifth inning as North Forsyth catcher Lauren Shaw (12) is late with a tag. Rinehart's run set the score at 8 to 1 in favor of Brookwood in game 2 the second round of the state softball championships played Wednesday. Staff Photo: John Bohn Brookwood's Taylor Rinehart (17) singles during the third inning against North Forsyth in game 2 of the second round of the state softball championships played Wednesday. Staff Photo: John Bohn Brookwood pitcher Rachael Hill (22) pitches to North Forsyth during the second inning of game 2 of the second round state softball championships played Wednesday. 

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SNELLVILLE -- Brookwood took advantage of nine errors in Game 1 and four errors in Game 2 to earn a sweep of North Forsyth in the second round of the state softball playoffs Wednesday.

The No. 1-ranked Broncos scored four runs on three errors in the fourth inning of the first game to win, 8-1, while they scored six runs in the fifth inning to win the second game, 9-1, in five innings.

"It's a good win for us," said Brookwood head coach Bill Batchelor. "I feel like we didn't hit the ball well in the first game, but we were putting it in play and they made mistakes. In the second game, I felt like we finally made the adjustments we needed to in that last inning."

Brandi Jones struck out seven en route to the Game 1 win, giving up eight hits.

One of those hits came to the first batter of the game, Andrea Coleman, who hit a solo home run to give the Raiders (17-11) an early 1-0 lead.

But, that's all that North Forsyth would push across the plate in the game.

Brookwood (34-5) tied the game in the bottom of the third when Susan Norris reached on an error, taking second and third on two separate sacrifice ground outs. Then, Mandy Blackwell singled her in for the Broncos' first run.

In the fourth inning, the Broncos took advantage of three errors by North Forsyth first baseman Savannah Chapman, who committed five errors in the game. Taylor Rinehart singled and later scored on an RBI sac bunt by Daniella Ulloa. Ambree Muller also reached and scored on errors by the first baseman. Then, with two runners on base, Megan Litumbe seemingly grounded out, but Chapman bobbled the ball, and Norris and Jenny Blackwell came around to score to make the score 5-1.

North Forsyth looked to get those runs back in the top of the fifth with the bases loaded and one out. However, Katie York hit a ball in the gap that was snagged by Rinehart with a diving catch. In an odd twist, Rinehart threw to second to try to double up the runner, who was called safe, but the runner at third never tagged on her way home and was called out when the ball was thrown to Norris at third.

"We made some great plays in the field," Batchelor said. "Our girls didn't let anything past them."

Two more runs scored for Brookwood in the bottom of the fifth, again on errors, as Taylor Sturcey scored on an error after coming on as a pinch runner for Brandi Jones. Emily Brantley also scored on an error, giving Brookwood a 7-1 lead.

Litumbe scored the Broncos' final run of the game on a bloop single by Jones in the sixth inning.

Jones shut the door in the seventh, striking out two of the four batters she faced.

In the second game, the Broncos took no time to get things going as they took advantage of two North Forsyth errors to start the inning, pushing across three runs in the process. Norris scored on an RBI single by Litumbe and Jenny Blackwell scored on a single by her sister, Mandy, who later scored on an RBI single by Brantley to give Brookwood a 3-0 lead.

Sydney Turner blasted a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth to give the Raiders some momentum, but the wheels fell off in the top of the fifth as Brookwood pushed across six runs.

Jenny Blackwell singled and took second on a throwing error. After a walk to Litumbe, Mandy Blackwell singled in sister Jenny. A bunt single by Brandi Jones loaded the bases with Rinehart reaching on an error that allowed Litumbe to score.

Ambree Muller's two-run single plated Mandy Blackwell and Jones. Rinehart later scored on a failed squeeze attempt and Ulloa had an RBI sac bunt to give Brookwood a 9-1 lead.

North Forsyth threatened to keep the game going in the fifth, placing runners on second and third, but a ground out by York ended the game and sent Brookwood to Columbus for the state quarterfinals.

Rachel Hill picked up the win in the circle, striking out four batters, while giving up four hits.

"It's the little things that's going to be the key in the Columbus," Batchelor said. "We're going to be in a lot of 1-0, 2-1 games, so we have to bring our best each game."