its annual trip to the “Elite 8” and the field in Columbus is “elite” with seven ranked teams still alive in the Class AA state tournament.

(Editor’s note: To read about Bacon County’s matchup with Screven County, turn to Page 6.)

The Lady Red Raiders (25-5), one of three Region 2-AA members, opens the tournament Thursday against fourth-ranked Wesleyan (27-5). The Lady Wolves, the Region 6 champion, finished second in the state in both 2011 and 2012.

BCHS swept Screven County (8-2, 9-7) and Wesleyan needed three games to turn back Union County (2-4, 5-1, 5-3).

Swainsboro (21-11), the lone unranked team in the field and the Region 3 runner-up, faces third-ranked Heard County (24-9-1), the Region 5 champion.

The Lady Tigers knocked off eighth-ranked Berrien (9-1, 9-3) while Heard County blanked fifth-ranked Armuchee (4-0, 8-0).

Both games start at 2:30 p.m. The winners will play at 7:45 p.m., Thursday night, while the losers meet at 9 a.m., Friday.

Seventh-ranked Jeff Davis (23-13), the Region 2 runner-up, gets four-time defending champion Gordon Lee (30-6), the top-ranked team and Region 7 champion.

The Lady Yellow Jackets beat Bleckley County (3-0, 4-1) while Gordon Lee blanked Bremen (9-0, 7-0).

Vidalia (22-11), the third seed from Region 2 and ranked 10th, squares off against ninth-ranked Social Circle (24-11), the Region 8 champion.

The Lady Indians upset second-ranked Harlem (9-6, 11-3) while Social Circle rolled past Bowdon (6-3, 16-0).

Both games also start at 2:30 p.m. The winners will play at 7:45 p.m., Thursday night, while the losers meet at 9 a.m., Friday.

Bacon County enters its pairing against Wesleyan riding a season-high 11-game winning streak following a first round sweep of Early County and a second round sweep of Screven County.

The Lady Wolves survived a three-game set against Union County winning Game 3, 5-3. That followed a 5-1 win in Game 2 after Union County took the series opener, 4-2.

Sophomore Jameson Kavel is the ace of the Wesleyan pitching staff. Riley Henning, one of just two seniors on the team, is the Lady Wolves’ No. 2 pitcher.

Kavel is also one of the top hitters on the team and run scorers, according to reports from the Atlanta Journal Constitution.