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LaGrange softball team headed to state

By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY

Daily News

They weren’t going to let history repeat itself.

Last fall, the LaGrange Lady Grangers were the number three seed in the Region 5-AAAA softball playoffs, and they were upset by third-seeded Cedartown in the opening round, denying them a spot in the state tournament.

Flash forward a year, and LaGrange is once again the region’s number three seed, and it hosted sixth-seeded Troup on Monday.

This time around, it was all LaGrange.

After winning the first game of a doubleheader 13-0 on a walk-off grand slam by Macee Stone, LaGrange finished the sweep with a 9-1 victory.

LaGrange will host Cedartown on Thursday, with the winner earning the region’s number three seed for the state playoffs, while the loser will be seeded fourth.

LaGrange and Cedartown will both be on the road for the first round of the state playoffs on Oct. 10.

“It’s really satisfying,” said senior outfielder Hannah Karcher, who was on the field for last year’s disappointing loss to Cedartown. “We’ve worked so hard, and then to see it pay off in the end means a lot, especially after what happened last year.”

LaGrange got it done at the plate, and on the pitcher’s mound.

In the first game, Camden Smith was LaGrange’s starting pitcher, but she left in the first inning after getting one out because of knee soreness.

Stone entered the game in relief, and she allowed one hit while striking out six in 3 2/3 innings.

Smith came back in the second game and threw a six-inning complete game while limiting Troup to four hits and one run with seven strikeouts.

“I was proud of both of my pitchers,” Troup head coach Gabby Heath said. “One, Macee didn’t plan on coming in, especially not that early in the game. And Camden, even though she may have been hurting, came out in the second game and threw lights out.”

Offensively, everyone contributed.

LaGrange finished with 28 hits in the two games combined, and Katelynn Mobley and Stone hit home runs.

“Even when we were warming up today, we were hitting the ball better than we’ve seen them hit the ball all year,” Heath said. “They’ve worked. We’ve worked for the past two weeks on our hitting because we were struggling. To watch them make adjustments and do what they did, that was great. I’m very proud.”

In the first game, LaGrange was leading 5-0 when it plated eight runs in the bottom of the fourth to win it because of the run rule.

Stone capped the eight-run rally with a grand slam that soared over the outfield fence.

Abby Vanhoose had three hits, including two doubles, and she drove in three runs.

Mobley had two hits, including her solo home run that cleared the center-field fence with plenty of room to spare.

Karcher had a hit and two RBIs, Smith had a pair of hits, and Malone Aldridge had an RBI triple.

Destiny Fitzpatrick had two RBIs, and Jacee Marable and Kadaysha Griffin each had a hit.

Olivia McInvale had Troup’s lone hit.

In the second game, LaGrange pounded out 16 hits en route to the 9-1 victory.

Aldridge was terrific from the leadoff position with four hits, including two doubles and a triple, and three RBIs.

Stone had three hits and an RBI, Mobley had two hits and an RBI, and Smith had a pair of hits.

Madison Dennis had a triple and an RBI, Marable had a triple, and Karcher had a hit.

For Troup, Avery Pearson had an RBI tripe, Hanna Lane had two hits, and Olivia McInvale had a double.

It was the final game for Troup’s two seniors, Lane and Madison McCartney.

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