It's hard enough to travel and win on the road in the playoffs, but that task became much more difficult for Eastside traveling to play Cook County when Lady Eagle's pitcher Molly Moon dislocated her knee in Eastside's first game against Hampton – a series that eventually allowed the Lady Eagles to clinch the No. 3 seed – but although Moon won't require surgery, she is out for the season.
Eastside (5-2, 3-2 Region 4-AAAA) lost last week's game to Locust Grove because of turnovers and penalties, but the Eagles flipped the script this week and forced turnovers of their own and benefitted from a number of Henry County (4-3, 4-2 region 4-AAAA) penalties to beat the Warhawks 32-16.
The Lady Eagles traveled up the road to face Walnut Grove in a doubleheader with the winner of a best-of-three series advancing to the Region 4-AAAA Championship. The Lady Warriors, last year's region champions, topped Eastside in the first two games of the series, 5-1 and 4-2 respectively to advance to the Region Championship.
A roaring crowd of fans, especially the "Dale-ians," helped lift the Lady Eagles to an 11-1 home win against Eagle's Landing Monday, advancing Eastside to the second round of the Region 4-AAAA tournament against Walnut Grove.
The Region 4-AAAA softball tournament begins on Monday when Eastside (15-9, 10-2 Region 4-AAAA) will host Eagles Landing (13-9, 5-5 Region 4-AAAA) at 7:30 p.m. in a single-elimination game for a chance to play in the the second round in a best two-out-of-three contest to play for the Region Championship.
UPDATED w/quotes: The Eagles' staple so far this season has been the play in the trenches by both the offensive and defensive lines which allowed Eagles playmakers to score points and respectively stopped opposing offenses. Unfortunately for Eastside that wasn't the case Thursday night against region foe Jonesboro as the Eagles struggled to execute and fell 43-14 to Jonesboro.
Locust Grove and Eastside battled in a pitcher's duel on Tuesday, but it was the Lady Wildcats that escaped with the 2-0 win ending Eastside's reign of sole possession of first place by snapping the Lady Eagles' nine-game win streak.
Two teams that mirror each other in terms of playing style with spread formations, screen plays and scrambling quarterbacks that can throw downfield and make plays on the run entered Sharp Stadium on Friday night, but instead of a back-and-forth affair, Eastside dominated to earn the 37-12 victory moving to 3-0 (1-0 Region 4-AAAA) on the season.
It was business as usual for the Eastside Eagles, as Madison County came to visit Sharp Stadium. The Eagles offense went to work early and often, defeating the Red Raiders 38-10 as Eastside improved to 2-0 on the season.
First-year Eastside head coach Troy Hoff earned his first career victory with a 41-0 thrashing of Alcovy to open the season. Hoff has been with the team for a decade and finally got his chance to be a head coach after Rick Hurst left to coach Pepperell. The coaching staff awarded Hoff the game ball.