The Lady Leopards faced Jeff Davis this past week to earn a return trip back to Columbus for the coveted state championship title. Although the team fell short, it was not without a total team effort offensively and defensively.
The team fell to Jeff Davis after losing both games with scores of 2-0 and 8-0 in the first set of the playoff series.
Leading the Leopards during game 1 on the mound was pitcher Jacy Ayers. Ayers was instrumental in holding Jeff Davis to just two runs. Ayers had seven strikeouts. Behind Ayers, the team only made one error.
Kylee Brooks, Kynlee Griffin, and Marysa Rylee had the team’s only three hits for the game.
Coach Davis stated, “Jeff Davis was an excellent team that brought their A-game. We kept shooting ourselves in the foot, and just couldn’t get things rolling."
For game 2, pitching duties were shared between Lindsey Crawford and Ayers. Ayers added three more strikeouts to her total for the series.
The Leopards played well defensively, but ace Ayers was the only player to secure a hit.
“Game 2 started well, but Jeff Davis had a run with hot bats," Davis said. "We couldn’t answer. We just didn’t have it. As in all sports, some days you got it, and some days you don’t. The girls never stopped playing hard; we just couldn’t get a break."
The Leopards end the season as Region Champions and a playoff run, adding to their massive collection of past accomplishments. The program has not only produced school records, state championships, they have also produced several collegiate athletes such as Mallory Parson (Georgia Military College and Georgia State, current assistant softball coach at Piedmont), McKenna Rylee (Young Harris), Madison Franklin (Emmanuel College, current assistant softball coach at Commerce), Jaycie Bowen (Georgia College and State University), Tybee Denton (University of North Georgia), Jewels Ayers (Emmanuel College), Kya Santiago (Emmanuel College), Jill Martinet (Reinhart University) and Madison Cronic (West Georgia).
Coach Davis commented that it is a tremendous honor to be part of such a great program. “They are great young ladies," he said. "We learned a lot from each other and had a great time playing the game we love. The future looks bright for this team."
Juniors Kylee Brooks, Jacy Ayers, Shelby Speed, Jodie Hood, Marysa Rylee, Lindsey Crawford, Laken Brown, Alexus Humphries, and Kynlee Griffin will be returning starters for the program next year, not only ensuring the tradition of excellence but also continue to be in the running for the state championship title.