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Rebels unload bench in opening round of playoffs
Rebels pitcher Hayley Dickerson fires to first base after fielding a comebacker in Friday's opening game against Northside-Warner Robins. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff

SPRINGFIELD -- The pressure that usually comes with playoff games left Rebel Field early Friday afternoon and it didn't leave alone.

It took Northside-Warner Robins' chances for victory with it.

The Effingham County Rebels scored 10 runs in the first-inning of their opening Class AAAAAA state tournament series and cruised to a 15-0 three-inning victory. It followed that easy win another, a 17-3 five-inning laugher that wrapped up the best-of-three set.

Effingham County coach Johnny Coleman was able to unload his bench. Each of his players got to bat at least once in both games. He also used three pitchers.
"That's going to be crucial because we will need our bench," he said. "If we are going to make it as far as we want to make it, we will need everybody. I'm very proud of the job they did."

The Rebels slugged 24 hits in the doubleheader, including a grand slam by Sydney Newberry. Hayley Dickerson and Haley Arnsdorff also belted homers.

Effingham County suffered only one strikeout. Their lone problem was waiting for the pitches to get into the strike zone. They clubbed a lot of foul balls, some right at Coleman.

"They weren't used to pitchers throwing that speed," he said. "It was a battle for them to stay back and not kill me over there in the third-base box."

Effingham County will return to action Wednesday at home against Heritage. The time for the first pitch hasn't been determined.

See the Oct. 18 edition of the Effingham Herald for more details.