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Lady Trojans win state title

Fullington Academy completes dream year

By Cade Cromer

Cordele Dispatch Contributor

PINEHURST —The Fullington Academy softball team defeated the David Emanuel Academy Lady Eagles two games to one in a best of three series for the GICAA state softball championship on Saturday afternoon.

David Emanuel got on the scoreboard early in game one, and ended up taking a 1-0 lead in the series after a 4-0 win.

The Lady Trojans then fell behind 2-0 early in game two and had to fight their way back to even up the series at one game apiece.

Fullington got their first run of the day in the top of the third inning of game two. Sarah Kate Wall led off the inning with a single and Mackenzie Rogers was used as a courtesy-runner. Carlee Roberts followed up with a base hit to left field, and a sacrifice bunt by Ella McGalliard moved the runners to second and third. Maggie Rogers subsequently sent Mackenzie Rogers home with a bunt single to make the score 2-1 in favor of the Lady Eagles entering the fourth inning.

The Lady Trojans then added a run in the top of the fourth to tie the score at 2-2. Emma Sanders led off the inning by reaching base after being hit by a pitch, and Grace Musselwhite was used as a courtesy runner for her. Lauren McIntyre and Skylar Bailey then used back to back sacrifice bunts to move the runner to third base. Sarah Kate Wall batted next and put the ball in play, which led to an error by the Lady Eagles allowing Musselwhite to score.

The Lady Trojans then took control of game two by scoring three runs in the top of the sixth. McIntyre started the inning off by reaching base after getting hit by a pitch and Bailey put down a sacrifice bunt to move her into scoring position. Roberts subseuqently hit an RBI double to score McIntyre, giving Fullington a 3-2 lead. McGalliard came up to bat next and put the Lady Trojans ahead 5-2 with a home run to deep left field.

The Lady Trojans tacked on two more runs to their lead in the top of the seventh inning. Maddy McLeod and Mackenzie Rogers got back-to-back hits to start the inning and McIntyre moved them to second and third with another sacrifice bunt. Roberts delivered a two-out double shortly after to score Rogers and Bailey. Fullington finished the game off in the bottom half of the inning for a 7-2 victory in game two.

Wall earned the win by pitching the complete game and allowing only two runs on two hits while striking out six batters.

The Lady Trojans scored the first three runs of the decisive third game in the top of the second. Bailey reached base with a one-out hit and McIntyre kept the offense rolling with an infield single, and an error by DEA allowed Bailey to score on the play. McGalliard reached base next with a walk, and McIntyre then scored on a wild pitch. Wall knocked in the third run of the inning with an RBI groundout, which gave Fullington a 3-0 lead going into the bottom of the second inning.

The Lady Eagles scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth to bring the score to 3-2 in favor of the Lady Trojans. Wall relieved McGalliard and got Fullington out of a tough bases loaded spot with a strikeout and a groundout to send the game to the top of the sixth.

The Lady Trojans added an important insurance run in the top of the sixth inning. Ella McGalliard hit a double with one out before Wall added another hit to her total. The two hits gave Fullington runners at first and third with just one out, and Roberts provided the RBI with a sacrifice fly. The run put Fullington up 4-2 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning.

The Lady Eagles loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh with two outs, but Sarah Kate Wall collected a groundball from the next batter and fired to first for the final out of the game, giving the Lady Trojans the state title.

McGalliard picked up the win in game three after pitching four and a third innings, while allowing only two runs and recording two strikeouts. Wall came in to get the remaining eight outs to clinch the title for the Lady Trojans.

The championship caps a 14-5 regular season for the Lady Trojans, in which they played against both GISA and GHSA schools. Fullington Academy went a combined 6-1 in the playoffs, winning by an average of nine runs per game.