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Lady 'Stangs reach 'elite' status
The Lady Mustangs gather for a photo following their Oct. 17 sweep of Harris County that propelled them into the Class AAAAA Elite Eight in Columbus. They open against Loganville on Thursday. - photo by Photo by Birk Herrath

GUYTON  The South Effingham softball team is in the Elite Eight.

The Lady Mustangs punched their ticket to Columbus by sweeping Harris County in the second round of the Class AAAAA playoffs 5-2 and 9-3 on Oct. 17.

Senior Kastin Belogorska baffled the Lady Tigers with a changeup that kept them off balance.

“It’s nasty,” South Effingham coach Chuck Smith said, referring to Belogorska’s changeup. “She’s a workhorse. I love her in the circle.

"She takes care of business. She’s a great kid.”

Rachel Mixon had a night to remember, too, tallying three singles and two doubles.

“Every time I turn around, she’s getting a hit,” Smith said.

“I try to keep in mind that I am playing for my teammates and for that girl that didn’t get a hit,” Mixon said.

The Lady Mustangs will take on Loganville on Thursday to open the double-elimination tournament in Columbus.

“I am so excited,” Mixon said. “We’ve been wishing for this since our freshman year. I have butterflies already but we’re ready.”

Against Harris County, the Lady Mustangs were most impressive in Game 2, dropping 14 hits.

The Lady Tigers took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first frame but Hailey Pinette blasted a deep line drive that was followed by an RBI single by Mixon. And with the bases loaded, Cheyenne Miller socked  an RBI double.

Up 4-2, the Lady Mustangs kept pouring it on with another RBI double by Pinette.

Later, Mixon and Allie Ergle added an RBI singles to keep the onslaught going.

The Lady Mustangs figured they might be in for a slugfest..

“All we knew is that we played Jones County last year and they beat Jones County so (we knew) we had to get it all together because it was going to be a tough game," Belogorska said. "We just came out on fire."

The Lady Mustangs are thrilled to still be playing.

“I haven’t gotten to experience this yet so doing it as a senior is amazing,” Belogorska said. “I really want to win it all.”

“I feel like we’ve put in so much work,” Mixon added. “We have all the physical ability we need. As long as we stay mentally strong then we’ll do great and I think we can win the whole thing.”