The Athens Lady Hornets are on the cusp of making the Class 3A state playoffs for the fourth time in five years under Head Coach Gary Qualls.
But they’re not ready to count themselves in just yet.
The Lady Hornets can grab the final playoff spot in District 17-3A with a win against Bullard today. First pitch at Peg Cain Field in Athens is set for 6 p.m.
Rusk, the No. 2-ranked team in the state, and Brownsboro have already clinched playoff spots. A win for Athens over Bullard would also force a tie for second place in the district standings with Brownsboro, which travels to Chapel Hill Tuesday and hosts the Lady Hornets Friday in the regular season finale.
Qualls’ Lady Hornets are 10-12 on the season and 5-5 in district play, and they have split with Bullard’s Lady Panthers in their previous two meetings this season.
Athens scored a 6-5 win over Bullard at home on March 15, with sophomore hurler Hannah Windham throwing a complete-game five-hitter. Bullard scored four runs in the top of the sixth to tie the game, and Athens got a run back in the bottom of the inning to re-take the lead for good.
In their rematch on April 1, Bullard took a 2-0 lead in the third inning but watched Athens score one run in the sixth and one in the seventh to tie the game. Bullard won the game with a run in the eighth inning.