The Red Bud Middle School softball team clinched the Bartow-Gordon Middle School Athletic Association (BGMSAA) region tournament championship on Wednesday, Oct. 3. It is the first title the program has earned since 1998, with the school being named Sonoraville East Middle School at the time.
In the tournament, the Lady Phoenix defeated Adairsville 5-2 before topping Calhoun 5-0 and then taking out Cartersville 8-5 in the championship.
First-year head coach Justin Evans was ecstatic over the championship win, and is proud of the progress his team has shown over the course of the season.
“I can’t even put the feeling into words,” Evans said. “I knew we had the caliber of players to get it done, but I was still shocked as a first-year coach that we actually did it. I couldn’t be more happy with how the girls performed under pressure, and it makes it even more special that it all happened in my first year.”
In the decisive game against the Lady Hurricanes, Red Bud pitcher Harley Brown tosses six innings and struck out six. At the plate, Taylor West, Kayleigh Kelly, Ava Lambert, Becca Tippett, Erin Garland and Brown all had hits. Maddie Swancy and Kelly led the way in the scoring column, scoring two runs apiece.
“All season we have had two pitchers, Brown and Swancy, who have been phenomenal for us,” Evans said. “In the tournament, they combined for 21 strikeouts. These girls are six graders, so they still have plenty of time to continue growing their legacy here.”
“We also had Swancy leading off, and Brown driving her in as well and going 5-11 in the tournament. Our three, four and five hitters West, Lambert and Tippett were also key. Kelly was also huge for us in the eighth spot in the lineup, especially during the Calhoun game.”
The championship bodes well for the entire Red Bud and Sonoraville High School softball programs, which continue to grow year after year.
“I tell all of these girls that I’m here to prepare them for the future,” Evans said. “I’m confident that many players on this team will make big contributions at the high school, and probably even the college level. The future is bright for this program.”