Home field advantage means nothing in girls softball.
Back on Aug. 5, Troup High beat LaGrange, 9-8 on the Lady Grangers home field. On Tuesday night, LaGrange High returned the softball favor. The Lady Grangers held on for a 6-5 win over the Lady Tigers in a Region 5-AAAA game at Troup High.
The game was still in doubt until the final out was recorded. That final out came on a ground ball from Lady Tiger junior Madison McCartney to Lady Granger freshman shortstop Abby Vanhoose in the bottom of the seventh inning.
That’s when this game became official and done. The Lady Tigers were furious, and the Lady Grangers were festive.
“We worked harder, and we never stopped,” said Malone Aldridge, LaGrange High’s freshman left fielder.
The Lady Grangers also won a game that was loseable. Nothing was certain in this fastpitch game until the umpires left the field for good. Meanwhile the scoreboard lights stayed on, and it was a beautiful sight for LaGrange High.
“Troup is one of our biggest rivals, and we wanted it bad,” said Lady Grangers freshman pitcher Camden Smith.
She and LaGrange High had to work long and hard for this region win. Troup High took a 2-0 lead right away in the bottom of the first inning. The Lady Tiger rally was minus any hits, but Troup High did score a pair of runs via two La-Grange High errors, plus a Kayla Lane stolen base, a wild pitch and a groundout.
The Lady Grangers managed to cut the lead in half in the top of the second inning with a Kayelynn Mobley RBI single to left field. It was a 2-1 game with Troup High in control. The Lady Tigers would cash in during the bottom of the second inning, however, with a Lane RBI double to left field for a 3-1 Troup High advantage.
LaGrange High’s softball turn came next, along with a third inning rally that included a Troup High twobase error, a Malone Aldridge single and a groundout. Freshman Madison Dennis scored on the groundout for La-Grange High to make it a 32 game with the Lady Tigers clinging to the lead.
And in the top of the fourth inning the Lady Grangers took the lead for the first time with a Camden Smith double, an Abby Vanhoose infield single and a Kayelynn Mobley run-scoring double. Three walks from Troup High also netted another run for the Lady Grangers, who now led 4-3.
“There were a lot of nerves, but we battled. We made some adjustments, and we were willing to persevere,” said LaGrange High head coach Gabby Heath.
Troup High did some battling, too. The Lady Tigers tied the game at 4-4 behind an Abby Taylor single and a Lady Granger throwing error in the bottom of the fourth inning.
“We were pumped,” said Troup High senior catcher Maddie Weathers.
The Lady Grangers had another rally in them, too. With a 2-run sixth inning, La- Grange High took a 6-4 lead. Shaq Sutton doubled and Malone Aldridge tripled to left field in that inning for the Lady Grangers.
There was some more drama in the bottom of the seventh as Troup High was on the verge of a comeback win. The Lady Tigers loaded the bases, but they only scored one run in the inning. Despite a single from Lane and Christina Garcia’s infield hit, TroupHighdidnotwinthegame.
The Lady Grangers escaped as sophomore catcher Kayelynn Mobley picked off a Troup High base runner, Garcia, at third base.
“That was a game-changer,” said Heath.