COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRCB) -- All four North Georgia programs remain in the hunt for a state title entering the final day of the GHSA State Softball Championships.
Northwest Whitfield, Dade County, Ringgold and Gordon Lee combined to a perfect 7-0 on Friday, with the latter two going 5-0 in elimination games.
Northwest and Dade have already clinched spots in the championship round in their respective classes, while Ringgold and Gordon Lee must each win one more elimination game Saturday morning to advance to the finals.
Northwest Whitfield cemented its spot in the final two in Class AAAA with a 3-2 win over West Laurens in the winner's bracket final. The top-ranked Lady Bruins (34-3) took an early 3-0 lead, then held off a West Laurens rally in the sixth to secure the win.
Dade County earned a spot in the Class AA championship round with a 3-2 win over Wesleyan in the winner's bracket final.
The Lady Wolverines (21-13), who are the surprise team of the tournament after entering the playoffs as the second seed from Region 7-AA, scored single runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh to erase an early 2-0 deficit. Madison Gossett struck out 16 to pick up the win in the circle, while Carri Pierce scored the game-winning run on an error.
Second-ranked Ringgold won three games to stay alive in Class AAA. The Lady Tigers (31-8) beat Blessed Trinity (4-3 in 8 innings), Chapel Hill (6-3) and Jackson County (3-2) to advance to Saturday morning's loser's bracket final opposite Central-Carroll. The winner will have to beat Buford twice to win the state championship.
Brittany Portwood won the first and third games of the day for Ringgold, while freshman Abby McKinney tossed a complete-game four-hitter to beat Chapel Hill. Ericka Bynum and McKinney delivered the game-tying and game-winning RBI hits in the opening win over Blessed Trinity, and Bynum later added a home run against Jackson County.
Lacey Loy had three hits in the opener and two RBI in the win over Jackson County.
Top-ranked and Gordon Lee got two huge pitching performances from freshman Emily Armour in wins over second-ranked Seminole County (8-0) and Schley County (11-0). Armour tossed a no-hitter with 11 strikeouts in the opener, then followed it with a six-inning perfect game in the nightcap.
Sara Holcomb drove in four runs on the day for Gordon Lee, while Ashley McDonald had four hits and scored four runs against Schley County.
The Lady Trojans, who are the two-time defending state champs, will play Mt. Zion in Saturday morning's Class A Public School loser's bracket final. The winner will have to beat Georgia Military twice to win the championship.
GHSA State Softball Championships - Day 2
Northwest Whitfield 3, West Laurens 2
-- Northwest Whitfield will play for state championship Saturday afternoon
Ringgold 4, Blessed Trinity 3
Ringgold 6, Chapel Hill 3
Ringgold 3, Jackson County2
-- Ringgold will play Central-Carroll in loser's bracket final Saturday morning
Dade County 3, Wesleyan 2
-- Dade County will play for a state championship Saturday afternoon
Class A - Public School
Gordon Lee 8, Seminole County 0|
Gordon Lee Lee 11, Schley County 0
-- Gordon Lee will play Mt. Zion in loser's bracket final Saturday morning