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Softball: Portwood and Loy sign college papers

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Ringgold High School pitcher Brittany Portwood and outfielder Lacey Loy signed papers to continue their softball careers with the West Georgia Tech Golden Knights last week.

Coach Stephanie Herrera said she is extremely pleased to be getting two athletes of their caliber, and looks forward to competing in their first season as a Division I program.

“I’m real excited about these girls,” Herrera said. “I think they have great talent. They’re great kids. I think Brittany is going to do real well for us on the mound, and Lacey is going to do great for us in the outfield.”

Portwood posted a 21-4 record in the fall, struck out 66 batters, had an ERA of 1.67 and walked just 11 batters in 134.7 innings to earn the distinction of the 2012 Catoosa County News Softball Dream Team Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year in the region following a runner-up finish in the Class AAA Georgia State Championship.

Loy, also a member of the 2012 Catoosa County News Softball Dream Team, batted .364, with 10 doubles, a triple, 17 runs scored and had 18 RBIs.

Ringgold head coach Rachel Hodge said she was very proud of each of her players. She said both would do well in college.

“Brittany has worked so hard since her freshman year,” Hodge said. “She would have earned the most improved player had I given that award two years ago. She’s going to continue to work hard and continue to do well. Lacey has always been a hard worker. She’s always been the life of our team. I’m so proud of her for sticking to it, and becoming the best outfielder she can be.”

Hodge said Portwood and Loy would be “hard to replace” this fall.

“Both of these girls would do anything for their team,” she said. They were a big part of our team and they’re great kids.”

Portwood said signing her name on college papers was like a dream come true.

“I am so excited,” she said. “I’ve been waiting on this for four years. I’m ready to meet some new people. I worked every day I could to get here. I’m always in the weight room pushing myself to get better, because this is what I wanted to do to further my career.”

Portwood said it’s also exciting to be going to a school that’s starting something new.

“Since they’re starting off in Division I it’s going to get a good look at what the next level will bring,” she said. “I think we’re going to be really good with us getting all new players.”

Portwood said she wanted to thank her coaches, anyone who has helped her along the way, including her “Poppy”, Jimmy Murphy.

Loy said she has many fond memories of being a Lady Tiger and looks forward to being a Golden Knight.

“I’m real excited about this,” she said. “Coach Herrera has seen us play since the ninth grade. I’m real excited about us going there and playing Division I.”

Loy said she will miss her friends and Ringgold, and wished them luck next season.

She said she wanted to thank all of her coaches, and her parents, Tammy Loy and Mike Harrison.