GIRLS SOFTBALL

Liberty County downs Seahawks in playoff opener

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This story has been modified from an earlier version to indicate that Franklin County remains in the playoffs..

The Liberty County Bulldogs threw a surprise curve ball to the Franklin County Seahawk softball team's playoff hopes Tuesday night in Port St. Joe, with an 8-1 win in the  1A District tournament.

The Bulldogs erupted with five runs in the top of the seventh to ice a game in which they were leading 3-1 going into the final stanza.

The two teams had each scored once in the first inning, and Liberty County had added runs in the  third and fifth.

Bulldog sophomore Kallan Mercer held the Seahawks to six hits,  and struck out two and walked two in pitching a complete game.

Seahawk freshman Ryan Brown hit a spair of singles, and scored the team's lone run, driven in by freshman Sarah Ham.

Ham had struck out 11 in pitching a complete game,  and gave uo five earned runs on seven hits.

The loss puts the Seahawk season record at 12-10.  It does not, however, end the team's playoff hopes.

Coach Scott Collins that while the Seahawks no longer have a shot at the district title, their ranking as #9 in the Florida High School Athletic Association state rankings means that  the team is likely to make the regional playoffs, which begin next week.

The FHSAA uses a computer ranking system to determine the two at-large slots for teams in the region.  Collins said the determination of who advances will be based on these rankings after Thursday's district championship game.

Wewahitchka, which defeated Bozeman Tuesday night, now squares off against Liberty County Thursday for the district title. Both teams will advance to regionals.

Graceville and Chipley play for the other district title.

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