Gulf Coast sweeps Panhandle playoff, secures state tournament spot

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The two day Panhandle playoff set up a fight between the second, third, and fourth place softball teams in the conference for a state playoff spot.

Whittled down to Gulf Coast (37-15) and Pensacola (28-22), the best of three series went the same way their season series did: mostly dominated by GCSC.

The Lady Commodores emerge victorious 12-6 in game one and 6-2 in game two, running their record against the Lady Pirates to 6-1 on the year and clinching a state tournament spot.

Hannah Poole picked up the win in the circle for the second night in a row, aided by eight RBI combined off the bat of Kristina Warford.

Tied 2-2 in the fourth inning, Allison Shiver cranked the go-ahead solo home run for GCSC. Insurance added by Belle Wolfenden in the fifth provided enough insurance for Poole, who held Pensacola scoreless the rest of the way.

"I thought it was a great team win," head coach Beth Wade said. "They came out ready to go. Yesterday they came out strong. Both games we were able to score early and kind of keep the pressure on. We played pretty solidly both days, offensively, defensively. Had a couple hiccups yesterday defensively and today they were much better, much more composed."

Conference champion and third ranked Chipola (42-4) joins GCSC at the state tournament May 2--May 5.