The Lady Eagles lost a fourth time this season to their sub-region nemesis, this time in the Region 6-A championship at Alto Park in Rome, where the Lady Trojans won, 5-1, on Friday.
Gordon Lee struck early in the title game with a first-inning home run, which Excel matched an inning later as Sydney Howell's homer tied them 1-1 in the second inning.
An unearned run gave the Lady Trojans the lead in the third inning, and they added a two-run homer in the fourth for a 4-1 lead.
Gordon Lee manufactured one more in the fifth inning to close the game's scoring.
Janna Scheff pitched six innings, walking two, hitting a batter, giving up seven hits and four earned runs, while striking out five.
Excel hitters were Scheff (1-for-3), Kaye Sullins (2-for-3), Emily Willingham (1-for-3) and Howell (1-for-3, home run, RBI, run).
Despite falling short to last season's state tournament semifinalist, the Lady Eagles carry a No. 2 seed into state following their region tournament showing.
According to the Georgia High School Association's Class A brackets, the No. 2 seed from Region 6 is scheduled to play the No. 2 seed from Region 9, which is Strong Rock Christian.
Below is a summary from Excel's region semifinal win against North Cobb Christian.
Excel 11, North Cobb Christian 2
Excel got started slowly in its Region 6-A semifinal matchup with North Cobb Christian Friday, falling behind 2-0 after two innings.
The Lady Eagles, however, woke up in the third, fifth and sixth innings.
Erin Brown reached base on a one-out hit in the bottom of the third, bringing up Scheff, who came through with her eighth home run of the season -- a blast over the left-center field fence to tie the game at 2-all.
The sixth was even kinder to Excel as it scored as many runs -- 6 -- as the inning itself.
With two outs in the inning, the scoring began with back-to-back homers from Scheff -- her ninth and second of the game -- and Abby Hibbard, who also hit her ninth of the season.
Kaye Sullins' single, Kelly Sullins' walk and Willingham's single then loaded the bases for the Lady Eagles.
Howell came to plate and cleared the bases with a three-run double. She scored shortly after on Eden Fulmer's RBI double.
Excel capped scoring in the sixth as Scheff -- who exited for pinch runner Mary Beth Burkhalter -- and Kaye Sullins reached on singles. Kaye's sister, Kelly, then stepped to the plate and hit her sixth homer of the season, ending the game on the GHSA run rule.
Scheff earned the win by giving up one earned run on five hits and one walk, while posting 10 strikeouts. She went 3-for-4 from the plate with two home runs, three RBIs and two runs.
Hibbard went 2-for-3 (walk, double, home run, RBI, run), Kaye Sullins went 2-for-4 (two runs), and Kelly Sullins (walk, home run, three RBIs), Willingham (run), Howell (three RBIs, run), Fulmer (double, RBI), Amanda Haney and Brown (run) each finished 1-for-3 from the plate.
Woodland needs win to advance
Woodland won its two region playoff games Saturday and stands just one victory away -- with two chances to get it -- from qualifying for the state softball tournament.
The Lady Wildcats beat Forsyth Central 16-4 and Johns Creek 8-0 in the region tournament, being played at Twin Creeks in Woodstock, and will play Northwest Whitfield at 4 p.m. Monday at the same location with the winner advancing.
If Woodland loses Monday, it would play Wednesday in the losers' bracket with another chance to advance.
Head coach Colman Roberts said he expects a challenge from Northwest.
"They're a scrappy team and they play sound ball at tournament time each year," Roberts said. "We're going to keep trying to do what we do and hopefully we'll win and advance on Monday."
Saturday's wins improves Woodland's overall record to 26-4. Northwest's overall record is 16-11.
Roberts said Woodland played hard in its two games and that showed in the results.
"I was proud of them for what they accomplished," he said.
Woodland 16, Forsyth 4
Woodland ace Emily Clay got the win against Forsyth Central, as she pitched four innings, allowed no runs, scattered five hits, gave up one walk and struck out five.
Leading the offensive attack for the Lady Wildcats were Ainsley Faulk, who was 3-of-3 with three runs and one walk; Lacey Fritz; 3-of-3 with two runs, 1 walk and four RBIs; Erin Hitchcock, 3-of-3 with three RBIs; Olivia Rutledge, 2-of-4, four runs, a double and two RBIs; Diana Wimpy, 2-of-3, three runs, one walk, one double and one RBI; Casey Bucy, 1-of-2 with three runs, 1 double and three RBIs.
Woodland 8, Johns Creek 0
Clay was the winning pitcher as she went five innings, allowed no earned runs, allowed four hits and one walk, and struck out four.
Providing the offensive firepower were Faulk, 2-of-3, two runs, a double, one RBI and one stolen base; Rutledge, 2-of-3, two runs, two RBI, two stolen bases; Wimpy, 2-of-3, one run, two RBI, one stolen base; Fritz, 2-of-3, one run and one RBI.
Cass drops 2 in region tourney
The Cass Lady Colonels (13-15-1) lost twice Saturday in the Region 7-AAAA softball tournament at Twin Creeks, ending their season. Cass lost its first game, 5-3, to Johns Creek and also suffered a two-run defeat to Forsyth Central, 11-9.