Cedartown softball’s magical run came to an end last week.
After upsetting Druid Hills and Flowery Branch in the first two rounds of the state playoffs, the road warriors fell just two wins short of advancing to Columbus and the GHSA State Softball Tournament.
Cedartown lost both games in the Elite Eight at LaGrange High School on Tuesday, both by one run, with the first game of the doubleheader ending with a 5-4 final, and Game 2 ending 4-3.
Cedartown’s only lead of the series came early in Game 1. Sophomore catcher Taylor Westmoreland crushed a Camden Smith pitch, sending it flying past the left field fence.
The 1-0 second-inning advantage was short-lived, as the Lady Grangers scored two runs off an error in the next half-inning. LaGrange added one run each in the fourth and fifth innings, making it 4-1.
Finally, the Lady Bulldog offense started a rally. The top of the sixth inning saw Cedartown plate three runs to tie it up. However, in the bottom of the seventh inning, LaGrange walked it off. Kaylee Bryant reached on a single and attempted to steal second. Westmoreland’s throw to second base ricocheted off Roslyn Blankenship’s glove and took an unconventional bounce past Ava Allred in centerfield. The misfortune allowed Bryant to score from first base, ending the game.
Reagan Clarke went the whole way in the first matchup, giving up just two earned runs on nine hits and zero walks. Allred was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and one run scored while Westmoreland finished 2-for-4 with two runs and one run batted in. Carlie Holland was 2-for-3 with one RBI and Marycille Brumby added one run in a 2-for-4 performance.
Cedartown’s offense took a little too long to get started in Game 2 as well. After the teams traded runs in the first inning, LaGrange raced out to a 4-1 lead in the fourth.
Cedartown nearly closed the gap by adding two runs in the fifth, but that was all the Lady Bulldogs could muster. Despite having other scoring chances Cedartown lost to end their season in the Elite Eight.
Clarke pitched four innings, giving up four earned runs on six hits and three walks. Junior Emme Arp came in as a reliever in the final three innings, allowing just three hits. Kaylee Nikolopoulus was 3-for-4 with one run while Brumby was 2-for-3 with two runs batted in.
Reagan Peek crushed a home run in the final game of her career as a Lady Bulldog, going 1-for-3 in the loss. Fellow senior Alexas Poole was 1-for-3 in the second game while Makayla Jordan scored one run.
Cedartown (21-14) finished third in one of the toughest regions in Class 4A, only losing region series to Heritage-Catoosa (4A State Champions) and Central-Carrollton (4A Runner-Ups).
The Lady Bulldogs won four straight games in the playoffs, advancing to the third round for the first time since 2004.