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The Lady Eagles roll past Woodward Academy in region tournament
Eastside dominates the Lady War Eagles in hunt for number one playoff seed
Eastside pitcher Kailey Rusk looked to be in postseason form when she threw a shutout against Woodward Academy in Saturday's first Region 4-AAAA tournament game. -photo by Tyler Williams

HAMPTON, Ga. -- Postseason softball officially began for the Eastside Eagles as it registered a 15-0 takedown of Woodward Academy in a run-rule shortened Region 4-AAAA tournament game Saturday afternoon, setting up a Tuesday rematch with top-seeded Hampton.

In a game that was originally postponed by the weather, the Lady Eagles were able to take care of business against Woodward, dominating them in three innings with junior Kailey Rusk pitching the shutout. 

Head coach Heather Wood was pleased to see her team take care of business in the game.

“We knew that we had beat them early in the season,” she said. “They have a very young team, but we still have to play our game and play how we’re capable of playing regardless of who were playing. In the postseason, anything can happen.”

After a scoreless first inning for Woodward, the Eagles notched their first run of the game when Rusk drove in freshman Natalie Ray.

Rusk was also incredibly effective in the pitcher’s circle as well, throwing a no-hitter in the shutout.

Wood was happy to see her pitcher have such a strong performance ahead of their next important game.

“Kailey through a great game,” she said. “She threw a perfect game for us.”

The bats would begin to come alive in the second inning.

Starting with a triple from Jada Brown, the RBI’s poured in from multiple players including Dani Fairey, Heather Henderson, Kendel McAuliffe, and more. By the time the onslaught was done, the Eagles held a 7-0 lead.

With a battling line-up that has been adjusted a bit since the last meeting between the Lady Eagles and Woodward, it seems as if the Eagles are gelling  much like they were towards playoff time last season.

After three strikeouts from Rusk, the batting explosion continued, but the highlight of the last inning was when Jordan Rittenbacher drove in Ava Anglin, Alysee Dobbs, and Brown. The final run came from Rittenbacher which provided the game’s final tally.

With a rematch against Hampton looming on Tuesday, Wood knows that she and her team want the number one seed heading into the playoffs.

“We know that securing the number one seed is important for us in the first round of the playoffs,” she said. “Of course region championships are nice, but in the bigger picture, we need to secure the one seed or at least the two seed.”

Hampton defeated Luella 21-0, also in run rule fashion, in its first round game Saturday. The Lady Hornets (14-4, 6-1) edged coach Wood's squad 4-3 in the two teams' only regular season matchup back on September 11, handing Eastside (18-6, 6-1) its only region loss. 

Tuesday's game is set for a 3 p.m. first pitch at Hampton High.