The initial GHSA Class A power ratings were released Tuesday morning, and the Excel softball team was ranked No. 18 among private schools, two spots back of the top 16 that make the state playoffs.
The Lady Eagles nearly were able to take a major step in improving that ranking on Tuesday, taking a 9-3 Bowdon team that was undefeated in region play into extra innings.
However, Bowdon was able to outlast the Lady Eagles and win in eight innings by a score of 10-9 on a walk-off fielder’s choice.
Excel trailed 8-3 after three innings, but staged a rally to come back and scored five unanswered runs between the fourth and seventh innings to bring the game to extras.
The tying tun came in the top of the seventh when Kalli Beth Scheff was hit by a pitch, advanced on Landry McCollum’s single and scored on a groundout by Whitney Harris.
Taylor Gibson allowed the comeback to happen as she came on in relief after 3.1 innings and threw four innings, allowing just one run on two hits and two walks with two strikeouts.
Excel struck first in the game with a two-out, two-run double by Rachel Parrott in the first inning. Parrott went 3-for-5 with four RBIs and a double in the game. She is now hitting .477 with a .558 on-base percentage, three home runs, seven doubles and 23 runs scored on the year.
Bowdon scored three runs in the bottom of the first to take the lead, though, and five more in the third after Excel scored on an error in the top of the frame.
Excel later scored two runs in the fourth, including an RBI single by Harris. The Lady Eagles added two in the sixth on a two-out, two-run single by Parrott.
In the eighth, both teams scored their inherited runners from second base, but Bowdon tacked on one more to walk off with the win.
Aliza Baker, Lindsey Mauldin and McCollum added two hits in the game, while Hannah Lee had two hits and two RBIs.
Brighton McCollum did not play and is suffering from an ankle injury.
Excel is now 6-8 overall and 1-4 in region play. The Lady Eagles will return to action Thursday with a nonregion home game against Darlington.