High School Softball
Streak ends for East Coweta in 2nd round exit
by Doug Gorman
All good things eventually come to an end.
East Coweta's softball team found that out the hard way on Wednesday.
After eight straight trips to Columbus for the Elite 8 state tournament, East Coweta will stay home this year.
Harrison High School put an end to the Lady Indians' long standing tradition in the second-round of the Class AAAAAA tournament with a pair of 4-3 and 2-0 victories on a chilly Wednesday night in Sharpsburg.
'We have been very fortunate to travel down I-185 and spend a night or two in Columbus in the past,' head coach Franklin DeLoach said. 'You know what, I am still very proud of these girls. (Pitcher) Morgan Goree gave us a chance to win again tonight. She carried us in the circle all season long. We had a good positive season. It's like I told the girls, I think a lot of credit has to go to Harrison. We didn't play terrible. We missed a few opportunities when we had runners in scoring position, but we certainly had a chance.'
Goree finished the two games with 13 strikeouts.
'I can't say enough about the way she pitched this year,' Deloach said. 'The change in her from the start of the season until the end of the season is unbelieveable.'
After rallying with three runs in the top of the seventh inning to win the first game, the Lady Hoyas were opportunistic in the nightcap getting solo home runs from Brooke Taylor in the bottom of the second and Sierra Maddox in the sixth for the only two runs of the game.
Harrison also took advantage of its pitching depth starting Bridgette Rainey in the first game and coming back with Emily Kachel in the nightcap.
East Coweta combined for 10 hits in the two games, but it wasn't enough.
'They (Harrison) pitched great and played great defense,' Deloach said. 'I don't think they had an error all night.'
The loss spoiled a terrific offensive night for senior second baseman Kia Smith who had four hits in the two games.
Her two-out triple in the top of the third in game two couldn't spark a Lady Indians rally.
Kachel, who struck out the first two batters she faced in the inning before putting Smith in scoring position, got out of the inning with the third strike out.
Katey Lynch doubled in the fourth for the Lady Indians, but was also left stranded. Katchel finished the contest with 10 strikeouts, getting a least one in every inning.
In addition to Smith, catcher Reba Jones and outfielder Bailey Schmieder finished their high school careers for the Lady Indians.
'We are going to miss Bailey Schmieder, she is such a sweet young lady, she is a great teammate and she helped us out in multiple rolls when her opportunity was called upon. Reba and Kia are two huge shoes to fill. Reba in my personal opinion might be the best defensive catcher we have had since I have been. I still stand by what I have said earlier that Kia is the best all-around second baseman in the state.' In the first game, the Lady Hoyas put their rally caps on the top of the seventh inning, taking advantage of an error and wild pitch to push the three runs across the plate.
Harrison sent 10 batters to the plate in the seventh and could have done more damage, but left the bases loaded.
Smith tried to bring the Lady Indians back in the game in the bottom of the seventh. The Lady Indians' singled, senior stole second and went to third on Shemiah Sanchez ground ball, but the game ended with Smith stranded at third base.
Smith f inished the f irst game with three hits and scored the first run of the game after leading off the bottom of the first with a base hit. After stealing second, she scored on Sanchez's base hit.
East Coweta's 1-0 lead held up until the sixth inning when Mikenzie Vaughn singled and went to third on a two-base error when the ball got past right fielder Hailey Baswell. Vaughn scored the tying run on Rachel Farris' base hit.
Baswell redeemed herself in the bottom of the sixth when she drove in Lynch to give the Lady Indians a 2-1 lead.
Gracelyn Newmon gave the Lady Indians a 3-1 lead with her RBI base hit.
Goree retired the first six batters she faced. She also struck out one batter in each of the first four innings.
Game 1 LADY HOYAS 4, LADY INDIANS 3
HARRISON 000 001 3-4 EAST COWETA 100 002 0-3
WP- Bridgette Rainey LP - Morgan Goree
LADY HOYAS 2, LAD Y INDIANS 0
EAST COWETA 000 0000-0 HARRISON 010 001 X-2
WP - Emily Kachel LP - Morgan Goree
HR Brooke Taylor, Sierra Maddox