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The Banks County Leopards’ run at a second-straight Region 8-AA championship ended Thursday night in Monticello.
The Leopards (22-7) fell to Social Circle 8-2 in the championship game. The game ended in the sixth inning due to darkness. It was the second-straight season Banks County and Social Circle played for the Region 8-AA title.
The Leopards will be the No. 2 seed heading into the Class AA state tournament and will play host next week in the first round of state tournament. The state tournament begins next Wednesday with the opponent and times to be determined.
The Leopards began the day with a win over Monticello to keep hope alive for the region crown. Then, a six-run sixth inning against Social Circle forced a third game between the two in the tournament. The championship loss was the third loss at the hands of Social Circle this season.
“It’s hard to beat anybody three times,” head coach Tony Bowen said after the loss. “I think when we came out and beat them the first game, that just fell right into that scenario.
“It’s hard to beat somebody three times. It was hard for them to beat us the third time. We played really well that game. We made some really good adjustments. Their pitcher struggled a little bit late in the game, so put some up some runs.”
Bowen admitted it was “really hard” to fight back from the loser’s bracket and beat a “good team,” which Social Circle is.
“I’m proud of our girls for fighting it out to the end,” Bowen said. “Tuesday, we didn’t play as good as I thought we should’ve played.
“But today, I thought we came out with a better attitude, a little better insight on what we needed to do. We just fell a little short.”