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Big day for LaGrange Academy’s Corley

By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY

Daily News

She accomplished just about everything she could on the high-school level, and now LaGrange Academy’s Amber Corley is eager to tackle a new challenge.

Corley, whose lock-down performances on the pitching mound helped LaGrange Academy win back-to-back state championships, has signed a letter of intent to join the softball program at Agnes Scott College in Decatur.

It’s the realization of a long-time goal for Corley, who has been starting at LaGrange Academy since she was in the eighth grade.

Corley said playing in college has been an objective “for a really long time, since I started playing. They’d ask me why I was playing, and I said I want to play in college.”

There haven’t been any shortcuts.

While Corley has put in plenty of time during LaGrange Academy practices, she also does ample work on her own while also playing travel softball.

“It takes a lot of time, and patience, and I wouldn’t be doing it if I didn’t like it,” Corley said.

When Corley joined the LaGrange Academy program, it was in a time of transition.

LaGrange Academy had won numerous state titles under head coach Charles Parker, but the program was in a rebuilding mode when Corley arrived in 2016.

Things began to turn around, though, and LaGrange Academy returned to the top when it beat rival Flint River Academy to capture the 2019 GISA state championship.

LaGrange Academy made it back-to-back state titles this season with a hard-fought win over Thomas Jefferson Academy in a best-of-three championship series.

LaGrange Academy won the first game 2-1 before dropping the second game 2-1, setting up a winner-take-all game three.

Lanie Lackey was the starting pitcher in the decisive game three, and Corley entered the game in relief and got the final four outs as LaGrange Academy won 4-3 to secure the repeat title.

“I was so tired, but I kept telling coach Parker, if you need me to go in, I can,” Corley said. “I’ll go in if I needed to. I was looking forward to it. The pressure makes me perform better, so the more there is on the line, the better I do.”

Earlier that day, Corley pitched a complete game and had 12 strikeouts, but it was Thomas Jefferson winning 2-1 to keep the series alive.

In game one of the series two days earlier, Corley also threw a complete game as LaGrange Academy won 2-1.

It was the ideal way for Corley to put the wraps on a memorable high-school career, and she treasured the time she spent with her teammates and coaches.

“I’m going to miss it so much,” Corley said. “It’s like a small family.”