• 54°

LaGrange keeps pace in region

By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY

Daily News

It’s all about keeping pace.

The LaGrange High softball team has an opportunity to finish first or second in Region 5-AAAA, and it has critical games coming up against the two teams ahead of it in the  standings, Central-Carroll and Chapel Hill.

In order for those games to have those high stakes, LaGrange has to take care of business against the other region teams on its schedule.

One of those teams is Troup, and it hosted LaGrange on Thursday evening in the second of two regular-season games between the county rivals.

The first game was tight, with LaGrange hanging on for a 3-2 road win.

In the rematch, it was all LaGrange, which secured a 5-0 victory to complete a regular-season sweep of Troup.

LaGrange (13-5 overall) improved to 5-2 in the region, and it is one game behind Central-Carroll and Chapel Hill.

LaGrange plays Cartersville twice at home on Saturday before hosting Sandy Creek on Tuesday.

LaGrange will finish region play with home games against Chapel Hill on Sept. 20 and Central-Carroll on Sept. 27.

Troup, meanwhile, is looking to get its season turned around.

Troup (5-15) opened with back-to-back region wins against Sandy Creek and Cartersville, but it fell to 2-8 in the region with Thursday’s loss.

Troup completes its region schedule next week against Cedartown and Central-Carroll.

“We have to stay focused 100 percent of the time, and if we continue to put together what we’ve been working on, it’s going to come,” Troup coach Kayla Yeargin said. “We’ve just got to make our own luck, and make some breaks for ourselves.”

In Thursday’s game, Troup had no answer for LaGrange sophomore pitcher Camden Smith, who was dominant.

Smith threw a seven-inning one-hitter, and she held Troup hitless after giving up a first-inning double to Kayla Lane.

Smith also got it done at the plate with two hits, including an RBI single in the fourth inning that broke a scoreless tie.

Madison Dennis had a two-run triple in the fourth inning, and Macee Stone knocked in two runs with a single in the sixth inning.

“This was probably one of our best approaches at the plate today,” LaGrange coach Gabby Heath said. “We had a few here and there that didn’t have the best approaches, but others in the lineup picked them up. It was nice to see us collectively have a great approach. And we hit balls hard that were caught.”

For the first three innings, it was a pitcher’s duel between Smith and Avery Pearson.

LaGrange broke through in the top of the fourth inning.

With one out, Katelynn Mobley reached on an infield single, and she stole second before scoring on Smith’s base hit to right field.

After an Abby Vanhoose walk, Dennis drove the ball over the right fielder’s outstretched glove, and she made it all the way to third base for a two-run triple, with Vanhoose and courtesy runner Kirsten Williams both scoring.

LaGrange tagged on two key insurance runs in the sixth inning.

With one out, Smith and Vanhoose reached on back-to-back hits, and Dennis was hit by a pitch to load the bases.

Two batters later, Stone’s base hit drove in two runs, and LaGrange led 5-0, and that was the final.

Smith and Mobley both had two hits for LaGrange, and Malone Aldridge, Stone, Destiny Fitzpatrick, Hannah Karcher, Vanhoose and Dennis each had one hit.

Lane’s leadoff double was Troup’s only hit, and Pearson pitched a complete game.

OF NOTE: For more photos, check out Facebook.com/LDNSports