Lady Devils finish as state runner-up

By Jeff Byrd - The Walton Tribune

Loganville’s softball players display the emotion of the end of the season Saturday afternoon at the AAAAA State Tournament in Columbus. Photo credit: The Walton Tribune

COLUMBUS – A walk-off win in the 10th inning in Saturday’s Class AAAAA semi-final game could not spur Loganville in the championship game with Columbus Northside.

Northside pitcher Abby Lovell had a dominant game. The left-hander limited a usually strong Red Devil offense to just three hits and, more importantly, no runs in a 4-0 decision.

The loss was a disappointing end for nine Loganville seniors. Loganville had spent the majority of the fall season as Georgia’s No. 1 team in AAAAA.

Northside overcame an injury to Lovell and other issues to win all four games at the AAAAA State Tournament in its hometown of Columbus. The Patriots finished 24-11.

Loganville’s two losses in the state tournament were to Northside. They scored 22 runs combined in a pair of wins Friday over Eastside and Northgate. 

They needed to win three games Saturday, but the morning game with Harris County, a 4-3 win in 10 innings, took a lot out of them, said Loganville Head Coach Alan Maddox.

“We put ourselves off balanced by having to go extra innings against Harris County. It kind of threw off our plan,” Maddox said.

The plan had to win a tight but not real stressful game with Harris and then keeping roll behind standout pitcher Grace Kendrick into the finals.

Kendrick cruised through six innings against Harris with a 2-0 lead. Harris, however, got two hits to start the seventh inning. With runners on third and second, a ground ball was fielded by shortstop Brooklin Lippert. The throw home was in time but dropped and the error allowed both runs to score.

The game stayed tied at 2 until the 11th when Harris scored one off the International tie-breaker runner. Loganville, however, scored two, as Avery Canady delivered the tying hit and Lippert, the game-winner on a hit to center.

Lippert finished 5-for-6. Rivers Sampson and Lindsay Parrish had two hits.

In the final, LSU commit Savannah Bedell had a triple off Loganville starter Maddie Mason. Claire Cahalan had a hit and a run scored as Northside built a 2-0 lead.

“Maddie gave me all I could ask for and Grace did an awesome job. She threw 150 pitches in the Harris game,” Maddox said. 

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