Junior Amber Reed led a talented North Gwinnett softball team to victory and the GHSA Class AAAAAAA State Championship title on Saturday over East Coweta. This is the Bulldogs’ second state championship title in softball with the other title coming in 2016.
North Gwinnett (30-5-1) faced East Coweta twice on Saturday in the GHSA State Softball Tournament held in Columbus at the South Commons Softball Complex. The Bulldogs lost to East Coweta last year by a single point in the State Championship game and were eager to avenge that loss. They did just that as they defeated East Coweta 8-0 in the winner’s bracket final and 7-2 in the championship game.
Reed was a star out on the mound and at the plate for the Bulldogs. She pitched for 12 innings on Saturday where she gave up just six hits and two earned runs while striking out 10 East Coweta batters. At the plate, Reed had five hits which included a double and two home runs. She earned four RBIs in the two games as well.
The Bulldogs have some serious hitters and they were out in force during the two games Saturday. The bats were striking early in both games which set the tone and East Coweta could not build momentum.
In the first game against East Coweta, Reed put away East Coweta one-two-three in the top of the first inning. She was the lead-off batter for the Bulldogs and she smacked a home run on the very first pitch by East Coweta. Fellow junior Bella Faw was the next batter for the Bulldogs and she too hit a solo home run. Just two batters later, Jaylyn Benson smacked a two-run home run to put North Gwinnett up 4-0 after the first inning.
North Gwinnett faced East Coweta later on Saturday for the championship game after East Coweta defeated Mill Creek who came in third.
Reed once again was on the mound for the Bulldogs and she easily put away the top of East Coweta’s batting order in the first inning. She would also strike first again at-bat with a single.
A bunt by Faw, a two-run home run by senior Marisa Miller and an RBI single by junior Avery Fielden put North Gwinnett up 4-0 at the end of the first inning.
Along with Reed’s stellar performance at the plate, other Bulldogs who had strong performances in the two games against East Coweta were Benson (combined four hits, a home run and four RBIs for the day), Faw (solo home run in game one), Ella Janish (two hits a home run and an RBI in game two) and Miller (two hits, a home run and three RBIs in game two).
During the State Tournament held Thursday through Saturday, North Gwinnett would score 37 runs against their opponents on the road to the title.
2021 North Gwinnett varsity softball team
Seniors: Sarah Cobb, Savannah Hardy, Simone Leonard, Marisa Miller, Mia Mitchell, Lexie Na and Lilly Runaas; Juniors: Bella Faw, Malissa Felbaum, Avery Fielden, Ella Janish, Landry Rabitsch and Amber Reed; Sophomores: Addison Miles; Freshmen: Nadia Glass, Mary Grace Nellis and Kennedy Pickett
Coaches: Amanda Heil, head coach; Assistant coaches: Ryan Moity, Tait Poitevint and Spencer Sorrells
Manager: Kayla Foran
Featured photo above: The North Gwinnett softball team captured the GHSA Class AAAAAAA State Championship title on Saturday after defeating East Coweta 7-2. Special Photo