The Bartow team was trailing 3-1 in the top of the fifth in Elberton when Elrod did her magic and gave her team a 4-3 lead over Baldwin County, which it then protected over the next two innings.
The Bartow team, coached by Marty Baker, now advances to the Southeast Regionals, which will be played next week in Warner Robins.
"We had some key hits at big times and some solid pitching," Baker said of the win. "It was a hard-fought game. It was really a team effort, and our girls played well and did what it took to win."
He said Elrod stood tall all evening. "She had a couple of big hits for us, and she also had a good defensive game for us [at shortstop]."
Tim Brock with the Bartow County Recreation Department said winning the state championship in its initial year is quite an accomplishment for the group of youngsters and its coaches.
Bartow had trailed most of the game, as the team failed to close the deal on a first-inning single.
Baldwin, however, didn't have that problem and surged into the lead in the bottom of the frame, for a 1-0 lead.
Both teams failed to score in the second, but Bartow came back in the third with two hits and was able to knot the score at 1-all.
Baldwin answered in the bottom of the frame, capitalizing when a batter was hit by a pitch and scoring its second run on an infield hit, for a 2-1 lead.
The South Georgia team stretched that led to 3-1 in the bottom of the fourth.
In the fifth, Bartow got a runner on base via a walk and had positioned runners on the corners with two out when Elrod got hold of her pitch and pushed her team ahead, 4-3. Her power hit scored Molly Duckett and Victoria Dabbs.
The scoring may have ended, but both teams kept trying to push runs across the plate late.
In the sixth, Lindsey Maulding doubled and Hannah Lee singled but both ended up being stranded on the base for Bartow.
Bartow shut down the host team in the bottom of the sixth to preserve the win.
Getting the win was Kinsey Liscio, who threw a complete game, surrendering three runs and striking out 10.
Elrod went 3-of-3 for Bartow; Liscio, 1-of-3; Lindsey Maulding, 1-of-3; Hannah Knapp, 1-of-3; and Hanna Lee, 2-of-2.
Coach Baker said Liscio had a good game at the mound to give her teammates a chance to win.
"Kinsey threw well tonight and did a great job," he said. "We had some other girls who made some good plays defensively. It was a total team effort."
Bartow had a tough road to travel just getting to the championship. On Tuesday night, the softball team advanced by defeating Warner Robins, the two-time defending Little League World Champions, 9-7.
Baker said it crossed his mind that the team might have been in for a letdown after such a challenge but a look around early Wednesday convinced him that was not the case.
"My girls were serious, focused and determined," he said. "They just flat got the job done tonight."
Baker said although it was quite an accomplishment to win a state title in their first attempt, he believed early on that he had a talented group. "I thought we had good enough players but not being able to practice enough worried me, because a lot of them are travel team members and had other things to do as well. I knew we had good, solid players but we also didn't know what the competition would be like."
Baker also complimented the work of his coaches -- Randy Lee and Pete Poston. "They both worked hard and helped so much."
The Southeast Regional Little League Tournament begins Thursday, July 28, and continues through Monday, Aug. 1.