By Sara Sumner
The Lowndes Vikettes are no stranger to holding the title of region champions. This year’s senior class has achieved that distinction three of the last four years, including last night’s crowning in Camden County.
“This is a great group of girls,” said Coach Stewart Thomas. “The best thing about them is they expect to win every time they step on the field.”
Win they did. Lowndes outscored their opponents in the tournament 27-3, over the course of three games. Strong pitching led the way, while the hitting came from up and down the line-up.
Lowndes made it look easy in game one, beating Camden County 12-1 in four innings. Rachel Wolverton took the mound and surrendered only one run. Multiple hits came from Elie Merritt, Madison May and Jacie Johns, with additional hits from Sophie Sumner, Tori Hedgecock and Kayden Dickey. Johns and Merritt led the team in RBI’s with three apiece.
Game two was a nail biter, as Colquitt County led Lowndes by a score of 2-1 through the fifth inning. The Vikettes took full advantage of a Colquitt fielding error that should have ended the sixth inning, and went on to score six runs. Rylin Hedgecock pitched for Lowndes and struck out 12. batters. Johns led the hitting for the game, going 2/4, with seven other players contributing hits.
The third and final game of the tournament saw Lowndes taking on Camden once again, but the Vikettes won the rain-delayed game 8-0. The game-ending run came on Jaylen Johnson’s steal at home plate, as Haley Griffin stole second base on a walk. Hedgecock was back on the pitching rubber, striking out 13, for a complete game shut-out in six innings. Rachel Wolverton led the Lowndes offense, going 3/4 with a homerun. Multiple hits were added by Tori Hedgecock, Madison May and Sophie Sumner.
“I am very proud of them, but we are not satisfied,” states Coach Thomas.” We will not be satisfied until we bring Lowndes High it’s first softball state title.”
That quest starts next week, as Lowndes takes on Westlake in round one of the state play-offs, at Lowndes High School’s Morris Coats Field.
“We’re going into post season strong,” says junior catcher, Sophie Sumner. “But we need to prepare for the better teams we will see, especially the pitching. We can’t underestimate our opponents, but we should never underestimate our ability, either. I feel really good as we make a run for the state championship.”