Nova Wright

Walnut Grove’s Nova Wright tags out an Eastside runner during a doubleheader with the Lady Eagles on Thursday in Covington.

The battle for softball supremacy in Region 8-AAAAA comes down to one of the county’s biggest rivalries next week.

Loganville and Walnut Grove will face off Tuesday in the first of a three-game series. Should Walnut Grove win, the Lady Warriors retain possession of first place in Region 8-AAAAA.

If Loganville wins, it would put the Lady Devils in first place. Both teams are currently ranked in the top 10 by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, with Loganville ranked 10th and Walnut Grove ranked fourth.

Walnut Grove suffered its first region loss of the year Thursday during a doubleheader with Eastside.  The Lady Warriors took Game 1 by a final of 8-4 in 10 innings, but faltered in Game 2 by a final of 8-3.

In the first leg of Thursday’s doubleheader, the clubs exchanged repeated blows without allowing either one to establish dominance. Just when it looked like Eastside was in line to pull out a hard-fought victory, the Lady Warriors struck for two runs in the seventh frame to force extra innings.

Knotted at three runs apiece in the eighth inning, Walnut Grove began to attack the arm of Johnson by singling the freshman pitcher to death. Emily Byers and Maddie Williamson collected back-to-back one-out knocks to set allow Gracie Folds to drive in the eventual winning run with a line drive single up the middle.

In the nightcap, Eastside’s bats woke up for the first time in nearly a week.

The Lady Eagles pushed a pair of runs across in the first innings to take a quick 4-0 lead.

Clinging to a 4-1 lead in the fifth inning, they added on with RBI singles from Grant and senior Riley Hannah before junior Natalie Ray burst the game wide open with a two-run triple, making it 8-1.

Loganville 1, Eastside 0

Eastside’s series with Walnut Grove was a 180-degree difference offensively than what the Lady Eagles did Tuesday against Loganville. The Lady Devils picked up a crucial 1-0 win over Eastside to take sole possession of second place in the region.

The Lady Devils lone run in the contest came with two outs and one on in the first inning when Sarah Glick ripped an RBI single to center field. The Lady Red Devils gave up six hits, but Eastside failed to push a run across and make up for the early deficit.

Loganville travels to Walnut Grove on Tuesday with first pitch slated for 6 p.m.

Brett Fowler is the sports editor of The Walton Tribune. He is a 2016 graduate of the University of North Georgia and a 2010 graduate of Monroe Area High School. Brett has been covering Walton County sports since 2011.

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