Season ends for LaGrange softball team
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
COLUMBUS – A memorable season came to a close for LaGrange High’s softball team in the semifinals of the Class AA state playoffs.
After falling to Central-Carroll 3-0 in Friday’s first game, LaGrange lost a 12-10 slug-fest to West Laurens in an elimination game at the South Commons Softball Complex in Columbus.
LaGrange took a 7-3 lead with seven runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, but West Laurens scored 12 runs over the next three innings combined to win the shoot-out.
LaGrange (23-11), which won the Region 2-AAAA championship, beat Cairo and Cedartown in the state playoffs to make it to Columbus.
In Friday’s first game, LaGrange was unable to get anything going offensively on the way to the 3-0 loss.
LaGrange returned to the field a few hours later to take on West Laurens, which lost to Heritage-Catoosa in its first game on Friday.
LaGrange got a grand slam from Madison Dennis and a two-run home run from Holly Lynn, but it was West Laurens prevailing to keep its title hopes alive.
West Laurens took the lead with three runs in the top of the fourth inning, and LaGrange answered with seven runs in the bottom of the inning.
Mariana Ceja and Kaylee Bryant had back-to-back RBI singles, and Kirsten Williams knocked in a run with a fielder’s choice to tie it at 3-3.
Dennis then stepped to the plate with the bags full, and she drove the ball over the left-field fence for the grand slam, and LaGrange led 7-3.
West Laurens came right back with four runs in the top of the fifth inning, but Lynn’s two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth put LaGrange back on top by two.
The back-and-forth game continued in the top of the sixth with West Laurens scoring five runs to take a lead, and this time LaGrange was unable to answer.
Lynn led the LaGrange offensive effort with three hits, including a home run, and she had two RBIs.
Dennis had four RBIs on her grand slam, and she also walked and scored a run.
Ceja had two hits with an RBI, Williams and Bryant each had a hit and an RBI, Jacee Marable had a hit and a walk, and Abby Vanhoose had an RBI with two runs scored.
Camden Smith pitched the complete game for LaGrange, and only two of the 12 runs she allowed were earned.
In Friday’s first game, the Lady Grangers had a chance to put some early runs on the board when they put runners on second and third with one out, but they were unable to score.
Central took the lead with a two-run single by Chelsea Jeffers in the fourth inning, and Hayden Salter added a solo home run in the top of the sixth to push the lead to 3-0.
Williams had LaGrange’s lone hit, and Aldridge and Bryant each reached on walks.
Lynn nearly put LaGrange on the scoreboard in the sixth inning, but her deep fly ball was caught at the fence.
Smith went the distance on the mound for LaGrange, and she gave up four hits and three runs.