After going undefeated in its three pool play games, the Lady Eagles did not let up on the Lady Dragons as they were determined to repeat last year's turn as Eagle Classic champions.
Excel led 4-0 at the conclusion of four innings, as lightning delayed and eventually ended the championship game.
Kay Sullins' two-run double in the first inning put the Lady Eagles up 2-0, and Janna Scheff, the game's winning pitcher, helped her own cause with a two-run double in the second inning.
In the fourth inning, Amanda Haney's RBI single scored Stephanie Rosser, who led the inning off with a double, and singles by Scheff, Abby Hibbard and Emily Willingham and a double from Sullins gave Excel three more runs. Sydney Howell had a sacrifice fly to score another run.
Scheff allowed just two hits in the championship victory, and went 2-for-2 from the plate with a walk.
Other Lady Eagles' hitters were Hibbard, 2-for-3 (two runs); Sullins, 2-for-3; Willingham, 2-for-3 (RBI); Eden Fulmer, 1-for-2 (run); Rosser, 1-for-1; and Haney, 1-for-1 (walk).
"I think we did great overall," Excel assistant Michael Adcock said. "The biggest thing was we were able to get repetitions both offensively and defensively. ... That really helped out our younger kids."
Another key for the Lady Eagles was limiting their mistakes in the field, which cost them in their only loss of the season to No. 1-ranked Gordon Lee.
"We were pretty much error-free the whole weekend, and we got a chance to work on our baserunning," Adcock added.
Five Excel players made the Eagle Classic All-Tournament Team -- Kay and Kelly Sullins, Howell, Hibbard and Scheff, the Eagle Classic Tournament MVP.
"She's been struggling a little bit with her control and her velocity ... but her velocity was up and she had great command of her pitches," Adcock said of Scheff. "All the teams we played were overmatched (against her). She was pretty much unhittable."
Nicole Peters (Mount Pisgah), Alex James (Trion), Shanice Brookington (Lanier County), Emily Jones (North Cobb Christian), Sydney Story (Model), Kelsi O'Riley (Fellowship Christian), Ericka Rickman (Pepperell) and Jaycee Boyd (Pepperell) filled out the rest of the all-tournament team members.
Excel began its title defense in this year's Eagle Classic with a 5-0 win Friday over the Lady Paladins of Fellowship Christian.
Rosser started the game -- she gave up one hit and two walks in two innings -- but exited in the second inning with the bases full of Lady Paladins. Scheff then came in to strike out the final two batters.
Howell hit a two-out home run over the center-field wall in the third inning to score Fulmer, who led the inning off with a single, and give the Lady Eagles a 2-0 lead.
Scheff followed up with a single and Hibbard reached base on an error before Kay Sullins' double scored Brown, who was pinch running for Scheff, and Hibbard.
Excel added another run in the sixth inning on an RBI single from Nikki Burkhalter, who scored her sister, Mary Beth, who also had a hit.
Lady Eagles' hitters included Howell, 1-for-4 (run); Scheff, 1-for-3; Sullins, 2-for-3; Willingham, 1-for-2 (double); Mary Beth Burkhalter, 1-for-2 (double); Fulmer, 1-for-2 (run); and Nikki Burkhalter, 1-for-1.
Excel faced Model in its second game, a 7-0 win Saturday that featured Howell going yard for the second straight day.
Howell's three-run homer over the right-center field wall scored Fulmer (reached on a double) and Haney (reached on a single) in the first inning.
Scheff and Hibbard hit singles to keep the hit parade going and Kelly Sullins' two-out walk loaded the bases for Willingham, who ripped a three-run triple down the right-field line, scoring pinch runner Brown, Hibbard and Sullins.
Willingham gave the Lady Eagles their seventh run when Fulmer reached base on an error.
The Lady Blue Devils didn't have much of a chance to score with Scheff on the mound and a stingy defense behind her.
Model had just two base runners -- including a hit batter -- in four innings before the game was called on account of time.
Scheff struck out six batters and went 2-for-3 from the plate.
Howell went 2-for-3 (double, run); Hibbard went 2-for-3 (run); Kay Sullins finished 1-for-3; Willingham went 2-for-3; Fulmer hit 2-for-3 (RBI); and Haney went 1-for-2.
Against Lanier County in its third game, Excel yielded its only run of the tournament in a 9-1 win over the Lady Bulldogs.
Kelly Sullins helped the Lady Eagles keep their bats hot with a two-out single to score Howell, who had a single to reach base.
Willingham's triple scored Brown, who was pinch running for Scheff, and Sullins to put Excel up 3-0.
Fulmer, the Lady Eagles' freshman center fielder, then stepped to the plate and launched a two-run homer to right-center field to punctuate a five-run, first inning.
In the second inning, Howell's leadoff double was succeeded with another two-run homer, this one from Hibbard.
Excel added runs in the third and fourth innings to complete the scoring before time was called.
Scheff (two hits, no runs, five strikeouts) pitched three innings and Rosser (one hit, one earned run, one walk) pitched one inning.
At the plate, Howell was 3-for-3 (two runs); Hibbard went 2-for-3 (two runs, three RBIs); Kay Sullins finished 2-for-3; Kelly Sullins went 1-for-2 (walk); Willingham hit 2-for-3 (two runs, two RBIs); Fulmer went 1-for-2 (two runs); and Rosser went 1-for-2.
The Lady Eagles go into the week -- which features a Region 6A-A at Darlington Thursday -- with some of their issues resolved.
"I think we've shored up some of the issues we had defensively," Adcock said, "and we definitely got our confidence back."
Excel also plays this week in the SCORE tournament, which begins Friday in Chattanooga, Tenn.