One win does not make a season, but it sure can ignite a softball team.
LaGrange High did an about face against Troup on Tuesday afternoon with what amounted to a priceless 8-2 win over the Lady Tigers. Nobody saw this coming – nobody except the Lady Grangers.
“We showed how well we can play. Our main focus was hitting. We can win. We put our mind to it. We had the attitude and the focus,” said LaGrange High senior third baseman Te’a Winston.
The Lady Grangers erased an early 1-0 deficit with two runs in the second inning and five runs in the bottom of the third. The big blows in the game for La-Grange High were Shaq Sutton’s two-run homer to the left field porch in the second inning, as well as a string of three singles from Winston, junior center fielder Mo Strozier and sophomore pitcher Hannah Karcher.
LaGrange High also got a sharply hit single from Katelynn Mobley, a freshman, in the bottom of the sixth inning. Mobley scored on some ragged Troup defense. The Lady Tigers permitted Mobley to score on a three-base error.
“We didn’t hit, pitch or play defense. We made five errors, and we did not make the basic plays. LaGrange made all the plays. We have to regroup,” said Mason Brackett, the head coach of the Lady Tigers (7-4 overall, 1-2 in the region).
For some people, this La-Grange High win was an upset. But don’t count the Lady Grangers among them, even with their 4-8 record (1-2 in the region).
“We hit the ball, and we saw the ball. We drove it. We played as a team, and we were on a losing streak,” said Sutton.
But no more. Sutton is still reliving her two-run swat to left field, which energized the young Lady Granger team in the second inning.
“I got an inside pitch, and I turned it around. I think it was a fastball,” said Sutton.
Lady Granger sophomore catcher Destiny Fitzpatrick was all over this LaGrange region triumph, too.
“We stepped up, and Troup was down. We hit the ball good, and we didn’t give up. Our coach told us to jump out fast on them,” said Fitzpatrick.
The Lady Grangers did fall behind 1-0 before scoring seven unanswered runs. The game was LaGrange’s to win or to lose. The Lady Grangers won it even with a Lady Tiger run in the top of the sixth, as well as a Troup single from Cierra Gilbert and a double from Kayla Lane in the top of the seventh.
LaGrange High put a wrap on this rivalry win as Troup’s Maddie Weathers popped out to Lady Granger shortstop Lauren Kuerzi. That was followed by a fly out from Lady Tiger Madison McCartney to LaGrange High center fielder Mo Strozier.
Her glove found several line drives off the bat of Troup High School. The Lady Granger defense was picking it all day with Strozier, Kuerzi and Winston at third base.
In the top of the fourth inning, Winston turned a double play for the Lady Grangers. Fitzpatrick was glorifying every LaGrange putout and hit on the day.
“We want to play every game like it’s our last. We are confident,” said Fitzpatrick.
The Troup Lady Tigers were in a different place. Troup High School was down in the softball dumps.
“We were kind of off today (on Tuesday). We were flat. LaGrange was on it, and they’re our cross-town rival,” said Lady Tiger senior first baseman Kinley Stanford.
Chris Fernsler Sports Writer