LaGrange celebrates senior day with big win
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
It was bombs away on senior day.
Before Thursday’s game against Hardaway, the six seniors on the LaGrange High softball team were recognized.
LaGrange then went out and overwhelmed Hardaway 21-3, with seniors Jacee Marable and Camden Smith both hitting mammoth home runs that cleared the left-field fence with plenty of room to spare.
LaGrange (15-7 overall) finished the regular season with a perfect region record, and it will be the number one seed for the Region 2-AAAA tournament that begins on Monday at Shuford Fields.
In addition to Marable and Smith, Abby Vanhoose, Malone Aldridge, Madison Dennis and Kirsten Williams were honored during a pregame ceremony.
The seniors have been key members of the varsity program since they were freshmen, and they’ve helped the program enjoy a lot of success.
Last year, all six seniors were starters on a team that beat Denmark and Shaw in the state playoffs to make it to Columbus for the state finals.
“They (the seniors) are the definition of student-athletes,” said LaGrange head coach Gabby Heath. “They focus on the class room just as much as they focus out here. They’ve worked really hard to be successful. That work ethic, and that drive for the past four years is definitely going to be missed.”
The seniors have been together at LaGrange High since the 2017 season, and before that they were junior-varsity teammates, and some of them even grew up playing travel-softball together.
“We’ve become best friends,” said Aldridge, the center fielder. “It’s really nice. To be on the field with them, I love it.”
LaGrange has dominated its region opponents this season, and Thursday was no exception.
After scoring 10 runs in the first inning, LaGrange tagged on 11 more runs in the second inning, with Marable and Smith both clearing the fence with tape-measure home runs.
LaGrange saw its five-game winning streak end with Wednesday’s 2-1 loss to Newnan, and the team bounced back in a big way against Hardaway.
“I was really thankful that they kept the same approach that we’ve been working on, and the energy was there,” Heath said. “We didn’t start the game the best, but we hit the ball really well today. That’s something we didn’t do against Newnan, but we did today. It was nice to see them apply those things.”
LaGrange banged out 17 hits in two innings, and six of those hits went for extra bases.
Aldridge, the leadoff hitter, had four hits, including a triple, and she had two RBIs and three runs scored.
Williams, hitting second, had three hits and four RBIs, and she scored three runs.
Vanhoose had three hits with a double and a triple, and she had one RBI and three runs scored, and Holly Lynn had two hits including a double, and she drove in three runs.
Smith and Marable both hit two-run home runs, Madison Dennis had a hit and two walks with three runs scored, Mariana Ceja had a hit and an RBI, Kate Asbell had a hit and two runs scored, and Kaylee Bryant had an RBI
Smith, who has been LaGrange’s number one pitcher since she was a freshman, pitched two innings and gave up one run while striking out five.
Mary James Stogner pitched the third and final inning.