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Ablan shuts down Archer in Region 8-AAAAAA semis

SNELLVILLE— Brookwood defeated Archer 4-1 on Tuesday night behind another tremendous outing from Amanda Ablan.

“She was great again tonight,” Brookwood head coach Billy Batchelor said. “We made all the plays we needed to tonight behind her against a really good offensive team. You can’t give them a lot of opportunities or they will score a lot of runs.”

Ablan, who threw a no-hitter and struck out 18 in Brookwood’s previous tournament game, threw another complete game, allowed four hits, and struck out five on her way to victory. Ablan also came through again at the plate going 2-for-3 with an RBI single in the third inning to give her team a 1-0 lead.

Archer (20-8) starter Kory Best nearly matched her counterpart through five innings, but the Broncos broke through in the sixth. Ablan got things going with her second single and then Ansley Jones reached on an error. Then Sam Leach came through with one of the biggest hits she has had in a long time, and on her 18th birthday too. Her single brought home the game’s second run and would prove to be the deciding hit.

“It was good birthday present,” Leach said. “It felt so great because I hadn’t been hitting well lately.”

Brookwood (18-11) wasn’t quite done after Leach’s birthday heroics. A wild pitch put runners on second and third for Baylei Banfield who gave her team a 4-0 lead with a two RBI double. Both Leach and Banfield’s hits came with two outs.

“Sam’s at-bat was the biggest bat of the game,” Batchelor said. “She got behind in the count and battled back and for her to get a hit like that on her birthday was awesome.”

The Tigers responded with a couple of doubles to lead off the top of the seventh to make the score 4-1, but Ablan rallied to shut the door and secure her team’s spot in the region 8-AAAAAA championship game.

Alesha Mann had a pair of doubles in a 2-for-3 night for the Tigers. She was the only Archer hitter to reach base twice.

Leach finished the game 2-for-3 with an RBI, while Baylei Banfield was also 2-for-3 with two RBIs for the Broncos. Taylor Harp and Avery Reppel each scored runs in pinch run situations.

Brookwood will now face the winner of Grayson and Archer Thursday night for the Region 8-AAAAAA tournament title.