Perry sisters help lead UNG softball to national title

By Brett Fowler for The Walton Tribune

University of North Georgia softball captains celebrate with head coach Mike Davenport after winning the 2023 NCAA Division II softball National Championship. Madi Perry, far right, is a 2019 graduate of Walnut Grove High School.
UNG Athletics | Special to the Tribune

A pair of Walnut Grove High School graduates, Madi and Grayson Perry, helped lead the University of North Georgia to the school’s second NCAA Division II softball national title over Grand Valley State, Mich. Wednesday in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Madi Perry, a 2019 graduate of Walnut Grove, is the starting shortstop for the Nighthawks while her sister, Grayson, a 2021 WGHS graduate, served as a role player off the bench during UNG’s championship series against the Lakers.

North Georgia, coached by veteran Mike Davenport, finished with a 64-7 record. Pitcher Kristen Davis went 20-1 and had shutouts against UT-Tyler 2-0 and Grand Valley State 3-0.

UNG won Game 1 by a final of 7-3. Madi Perry, batting in the 2 hole, scored one run in the contest, but it was her defense that on full display with a line out snag in the fourth inning. She also caught a runner stealing in the fifth and helped turn an impressive 6-4-2 double play in the sixth.

In Game 2, Perry once again flashed the leather by snapping off a line drive to help stave off a Grand Valley State rally with two runners on and the Lakers’ best hitter at the plate while UNG held a 3-0 lead. The Nighthawks went on to win the contest 3-0 to capture the national title.

Madi Perry started all 61 games for North Georgia this season. She batted .368, getting 71 hits in 193 at bats. She drove in 18 runs and had 21 stolen bases. Grayson Perry saw pinch-hitting duty with 20 at bats. She had a home run and ended with six RBIs.

Both Perry sisters join Taylor Merritt of Walnut Grove and Hannah McSwain of George Walton as former Walton County softball products to go on to win a national title with UNG. Merritt and McSwain were members of UNG’s first softball national title squad in 2015.

While at Walnut Grove, the elder Perry was a three time All-Region selection who helped the Lady Warriors to two state runner-up finishes in 2016 and 2017. Madi Perry originally signed with Auburn University and spent one season with the Tigers before transferring to UNG.

The younger Perry signed with UNG straight after a high school career in which she was name All-Region and helped lead the Lady Warriors to a region title in 2020.

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