LaGrange set for region showdown
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
Coming into the season, the LaGrange High and Columbus softball teams figured to be two of the teams to beat in the new-look Region 2-AAAA.
On Tuesday, those two teams will square off as the region schedule gets underway, with Columbus (2-2) hosting LaGrange (2-1) at 5:30 p.m.
It will be the first of eight region games for LaGrange leading up to the region tournament in October.
LaGrange and Columbus both enjoyed successful 2019 seasons.
While LaGrange went 24-13 and made it to Columbus for the eight-team state finals, Columbus advanced to the second round of the state playoffs.
While LaGrange accomplished a lot last season, it came up short in its quest to win a region title.
LaGrange made it to the Region 5-AAAA championship series, but it lost to Central-Carroll to finish second.
LaGrange followed that up with wins over Denmark and
Shaw in the state playoffs to make it to the state finals for the first time in more than 10 years.
Columbus finished third in Region 1-AAAA last season, and it beat Thomson in the opening round of the state playoffs before falling to Central-Carroll in the second round.
LaGrange is off to a 2-1 start this season after beating Troup and Rockmart and losing to Harris County.
Expectations are high for LaGrange, which returns all of its starters from last season’s team, including seniors Abby Vanhoose (shortstop), Malone Aldridge (outfield), Madison Dennis (second base), Kirsten Williams (third base), Jacee Marable (first base), and Camden Smith (pitcher).
Other starters for LaGrange include catcher Holly Lynn, who has been behind the plate for every inning of every game so far this season, and outfielders Kaylee Bryant and Mariana Ceja.
Also this week, LaGrange will play two games against non-region opponents.
On Wednesday, LaGrange will host Bowdon at 5:30 p.m. in a game that was rained out last week.
LaGrange finishes the week with a home game against Central-Carroll on Thursday at 5 p.m. in a rematch of last year’s region-championship series.
Also this week, the Callaway and LaGrange Academy softball teams will be in action.
Callaway (1-3) has road games against Mount Zion on Tuesday and Bowdon on Saturday, while LaGrange Academy (2-1) visits Terrell Academy on Tuesday and hosts Flint River Academy on Saturday.
LaGrange Academy beat Flint River last year to win the GISA Class A state championship.