The Lumpkin County High softball team scratched a seven-year itch Friday afternoon.
The Lady Indians captured their first-ever fast-pitch softball title with a 10-0 rout of West Hall in the championship game of the Region 7-AAA Tournament on Friday at the Lanier Point Softball Complex.
Lumpkin players were consumed with emotion after entering the tournament as the No. 5 seed and breezing through the winners’ bracket with four straight wins.
The Lady Indians were all smiles during their postgame celebration.
"This is such a big momentum boost for us entering the state tournament," Lumpkin County coach Lori Hall said. "We hit the ball really well this week. We are just going to keep practicing hard all next week.
"We are all looking forward to our first game Friday."
With the win, the Lady Indians (17-13-1) locked down the No. 1 seed from Region 7-AAA in the Class AAA North Sectionals, which begin Friday at Lanier Point Softball Complex.
Lumpkin County will face the No. 4 seed from Region 5-AAA. As region runner-up, West Hall will face the No. 3 seed from Region 5-AAA. The other two qualifiers for the North Sectionals are No. 3 White County and No. 4 Pickens. After North Sectionals is the Class AAA State Finals, which begin Oct. 25 in Columbus.
On Friday, the Lady Indians, who averaged 10 runs per game in the Region 7-AAA tournament, erupted for a seven-run fourth inning that blew the game open.
With the bases loaded and runners on first and second, Lumpkin County’s Ashley Gaddis laced a line drive into right-center field that scored Frankie Walls and Meghan Cantrell, giving the Lady Indians a 4-0 lead. They then went on to score four more runs in the inning, and entered the bottom of the fourth with an eight-run cushion.
"West Hall is a great team," Hall said. "We just focused all tournament long on getting baserunners on and bringing them home. We just did that well all week."
The Lady Spartans were held scoreless for the first time in the tournament, as Lumpkin County senior pitcher Bridget Savage only allowed three singles. Savage also retired the last 13 of 16 batters she faced.
"I feel pretty good about my performance this afternoon," Savage said with a big smile. "I couldn’t have done it without my coaches and my team."
"Bridget pitched great through this whole tournament," Hall added. "But she also had eight defensive players behind her that played really well.
"We won this tournament as a team, and there was no individual player who played better than the other."
Laura Webber led the Lady Indians with a 3-for-4 performance at the plate and four RBIs, including a two-run home run in the sixth inning that gave Lumpkin County a 10-0 lead. Frankie Walls finished 3-for-4, while Morgan Chapman and Cantrell added two hits each.
"I just really got out of a long slump," Webber said. "I always think about my team, and I didn’t want to let them down. It just feels good to win the region."
West Hall struggled offensively all afternoon. Bailey Soucie, Emily Harper and Hannah Jarrells each posted singles.
"(Bridget Savage) really got in a rhythm and kept us off balance all game long," West Hall coach Warren Sellers said. "She was just really tough this afternoon."We’re going to take the weekend off and hopefully come back and have four good days of practice (this) week, and be ready for our game this Friday."