Heartbreaking loss for LaGrange

Published 11:26 am Thursday, October 11, 2018


Daily News

They were one out away.

Heading to the seventh inning of Wednesday’s winner-take-all game three in a Class AAA state-playoff series, LaGrange High’s softball team had a 4-2 lead over Oconee County.

If LaGrange could maintain that lead, it would win the series, and advance to the round of 16 of the state playoffs.

Unfortunately for the Lady Grangers, it wasn’t meant to be.

Oconee County rallied to tie it with two runs in the bottom of the seventh, with the tying run crossing the plate with two outs, and it won the game in dramatic fashion on a walk-off home run by Kailey Adcock in the eighth inning.

The heart-breaking loss put an end to an exceptional season for LaGrange, which finished with a 22-9 record.

The state-playoff series started out poorly for LaGrange, which lost the first game 13-2.

After a break, the teams returned to the field, and LaGrange showed its mettle by thumping Oconee County 10-2 to even the series and forced a game three.

For much of Wednesday’s game, it looked like LaGrange had things in hand.

LaGrange surged to the lead with three runs in the top of the first inning, and it led 4-0 after scoring a single run in the fifth inning.

Oconee County, spurred on by its home fans, rallied.

Oconee scored single runs in the fifth and sixth innings to get within two, and it tied it in the seventh inning.

LaGrange came up empty in the top of the eighth, and Oconee came to bat in the bottom of the inning with a chance to win it.

Oconee did it in dramatic fashion, with Adcock driving the ball over the fence for the game-winning home run.

It was the final game for a talented group of seniors who helped elevate the program.

LaGrange should be well-positioned to enjoy a strong 2018 season, though, with most of the key players returning.

One of those returnees will be sophomore Camden Smith, who led the way offensively in Wednesday’s game.

Smith had a two-run double to cap the three-run first inning, and she delivered an RBI single in the fifth inning to push the lead to 4-0.

Smith also pitched the complete game and was the tough-luck loser.

LaGrange came out swinging.

Malone Aldridge and senior Destiny Fitzpatrick reached on singles, and Aldridge scored on a fielder’s choice by senior Hannah Karcher.

After a Jacee Marable base hit, Smith’s double plated two runs, and LaGrange led 3-0.

In the fourth inning, Karcher got things started with a single, and following a Marable double, Smith’s RBI single put Oconee County in a 4-0 hole.

Leading 4-2, LaGrange had an opportunity to add some insurance in the top of the seventh.

Karcher and Marable reached on one-out singles, but LaGrange was unable to score any more runs, and that proved costly.

Oconee County tied it in the bottom of the seventh, with Keely Glenn delivering a clutch RBI single with two outs to tie it.

LaGrange got a one-out walk from Madison Dennis in the top of the eight, but she was left stranded, setting the stage for Adcock’s heroics.

In the series opener, LaGrange scored two runs in the top of the first inning to take the lead, but it was all Oconee County from there.

Oconee County scored seven runs in the bottom of the first, and the game ended after four innings because of the run rule.

Karcher and Abby Vanhoose each had a hit and an RBI for LaGrange, and Marable had a hit.

In the second game, LaGrange scored three runs in each of the first two innings to grab a 6-0 lead, and it eased to a 10-2 win in a five-inning game.

Smith pitched the five-inning complete game, holding Oconee to five hits and no earned runs.

LaGrange banged out 13 hits, with Fitzpatrick leading the way with three hits, and she had an RBI.

Marable had two hits and two RBIs, and Macee Stone and Vanhoose each had two hits and an RBI.

Smith had a hit and two RBIs, Katelynn Mobley had an RBI double, and Aldridge and Karcher each had a hit and an RBI.