In a crazy 2020 season with the shadow of Covid-19 looming over softball activities, the Greyhounds were able to navigate the tricky landscape to capture their 4th consecutive region championship as well as make the state championship game for the 3rd consecutive year finishing state runner up in 2020.
In a brand new all Cobb county region, Pope was able to capture the region championship on October 13th in a victory at Lassiter High School. The extremely competitive region race came down to the last game of the season with Pope, Lassiter, and KMHS all entering the day with the chance to finish either 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place with the region results hanging in the balance of the Pope vs. Lassiter contest. A shutout pitching performance by Kendall Frost and Hallie Adams coupled with a 4th inning offensive explosion sparked by Katie Ward’s grand slam propelled the Hounds to the 5-0 win and captured the 4th consecutive region championship for the Hounds (5th overall as a program) and secured the 1 seed in the state playoffs!
The 2020 Pope softball senior class is the ONLY class in Pope History to capture a championship in all 4 years of high school and they completed their 4 years at Pope with a program record 121 wins!
Pope entered the playoffs as a #1 seed on the strength of the region championship and proceeded to win 3 rounds of playoffs unblemished to qualify for the state tournament in Columbus for the 4th consecutive year.
The state playoffs were extremely dramatic in 2020 that brought adversity in many forms as Pope learned just days prior to the 1st round that they would receive an unexpected bye due to challenges posed by Covid with their anticipated round 1 opponent. After having to take an unplanned 9 day layoff prior to round 2, the Hounds hosted South Paulding and won in exciting fashion, executing a walk off squeeze bunt by Abby Rocco to secure a come from behind victory for the Hounds 6-5 in game 1 (after being behind 3-0) and cruising to a 6-0 victory in game 2. In round 3, the normal Elite 8 that would occur in Columbus, the Hounds were matched up with Effingham county. With an impending tropical storm set to arrive on the day of the “IF” game, the Hounds were looking to earn a sweep to avoid the incoming disaster that could unfold with 5” of approaching rain. Luck would be on the Hounds side once again as they entered the bottom of the 7th in game 1 down by a run. A leadoff double by Kaitlyn Wells followed by a Bailey Chapin single tied the game and a Katie Ward sac bunt followed up by a Natalie Klingler sacrifice fly earned another come from behind win for the Hounds 3-2 in game 1. Hallie Adams tossed a 1 hit shutout in game 2 to earn the Hound their 5th consecutive trip to Columbus and 8th trip in the last 9 years.
The Hounds won both their games on day 1 in Columbus with a 1-0 victory over Creekview that saw Hallie Adams pitch arguably the best game in her storied career tossing a no hitter and striking out 18. Game 2 of the 1st day in Columbus matched the Hounds up with region foe Lassiter High dor the 3rd time innthe season. The Hounds led the game wire to wire taking the 3rd victory of the season for the Hounds 3-1 over the Trojans and qualifying the Hounds for their 3rd consecutive trip to the state championship game.
Ultimately the Hounds would be matched up with the Trojans once again for the state championship and play a closely contested and intense 2 games which would see the Hounds drop 2 one run ball games. Although the Hounds would hold the advantage in the season series between the 2 teams, 3-2, the Hounds ultimately would finish the year state runner up in a well played season. Overall, the Hounds have made a county record 5 appearances in the state championship and still hold the county lead with 2 program championships!