Step one for the South Effingham Lady Mustangs softball team is done.
The Lady Mustangs secured their spot in the Class AAA state tournament, breezing past Washington County 11-1 in the opener and battling past Harlem 1-0 in the Region 3-AAA tourney at Paulsen Softball Complex in Savannah on Friday.
“That’s what we shoot for,” Lady Mustangs coach Donnie Ussery said of the state playoffs. “We’ve made it eight of the 10 years the school has been in existence. That’s something special.”
Alison Kirkland allowed five hits and struck out seven in the shutout over Harlem, despite a no-hitter from Brandi Newsome.
Newsome struck out two and walked two.
“Alison pitched a heckuva game and made that one run stand up,” Ussery said.
Sally Faircloth struck out three and gave up one hit in the opener, as the Lady Mustangs (20-10-1) had six hits and took advantage of five Lady Golden Hawks’ errors.
Katie Rietkovich homered, Alexis Mercer was 2-for-3 and Austin Oglesby drove in two runs.
The Lady Mustangs will play Thomson on Saturday at 11 a.m. The winner advances to the region championship at 3 p.m.