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Lanier Point Invitational softball shortened by rain
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The Lanier Point Invitational was a bit abbreviated for the 21 teams that attended the season-opening softball tournament at the Lanier Point Softball Complex, but it gave a good indication of what’s to come for many area programs that attended the two-day event, which was cut short abruptly by a series of lightning strikes and heavy rain Saturday in Gainesville.

North Hall emerged with a pair of wins before it’s game against Habersham Central was rained out. East Hall also won a pair of games before play was halted, while Flowery Branch won 2 of 3.

On Saturday, Habersham Central went undefeated with a 6-4 win against Lanier and 13-3 victory over Dunwoody. The Lady Raiders were ahead 3-0 against North Hall when the tournament stopped, while Habersham Central still had another game against Gilmer that never started.

Of the four pools, Duluth was the only winner decided after it beat second-place Johns Creek 8-2 and a 14-1 victory against West Hall. The Lady Wildcats started play with a win against tournament host Gainesville on Friday.

This year, the Lanier Point Invitational was divided into four pools and round-robin play, rather than bracket play on Day 2 it utilized in the past to determine champions.

With just one game not played at Lanier Point, Flowery Branch coach Laura Novotny-Beaver was pleased with its performance.

After a 17-hit performance and win against Commerce on Friday, the Lady Falcons came back with an extra-inning 6-5 win against Dawson County in its last game.

Flowery Branch catcher Megan Prichard had a tag out at the plate to end the game against Dawson County and three hits against Commerce, while Taylor Mooney picked up a win in the circle for the Lady Falcons on Saturday.

Flowery Branch’s lone loss was 3-1 against Fannin County, with a game against Union County that was never played.

Banks County won games against East Hall 8-5 and Rabun County 13-2 on Saturday, while the Lady Vikings topped Rabun County 6-4.

North Hall beat Gilmer 9-6 on Saturday, immediately before it took to the field against Habersham Central.

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