The rivalry between Walnut Grove and Loganville is always intense, but the stakes were even higher Tuesday when two teams clashed in a battle of No. 1 and No. 2 in Class AAAAA softball.
Second-ranked Loganville came out on the winning end, 9-8, thanks to a walkoff double by Shelby Coffey to give the Lady Devils an edge in the Region 8 standings.
With two runners on in the bottom of the seventh, Coffey took the first pitch she saw down the left field line and drove in Megan Waites before Katie Plummer was waved around third and dived into home to clinch the win.
“That was an incredible ball game,” Loganville head coach Alan Maddox said. “I felt confident where we were at in the lineup. I knew we had ou4 4, 5, 6 kids coming up and thought we were in a good position to at least tie it. Then Shelby came up big with that hit down the line to win it.”
Just four hours prior to the game, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution released its weekly state rankings. Walnut Grove was in the top spot despite two losses to Eastside last week. Loganville was settled in right behind the Lady Warriors at No. 2.
Walnut Grove got on the board first in the fourth with a monster two-run shot from Cassie Boatright. However, Loganville took the lead in the bottom half of the inning with a two-run double by Rivers Sampson and an RBI single by Plummer.
The Lady Warriors bounced back ahead in the fifth with another home run, this time a three-run shot by Haley Carroll. However, Loganville was able to answer once again in the bottom half of the inning thanks to an RBI double by Lindsey Lumsden and an RBI single by Sampson.
Loganville retook the lead in the sixth with a single by Brooklin Lippert that drove in Cheyenne Anderson.
Walnut Grove looked like it would take the lead for good in the top of the seventh when the Lady Warriors went up 8-6 thanks to an RBI single by Carroll as well as some smart baserunning by Emma Folds before Gracie Folds hit a sacrifice bunt that scored Nova Wright.
But Loganville’s comeback began when Sampson grounded out to Boatright and was able to drive in Anna Waites to make it 8-7 in favor of the Lady Warriors.
The Lady Devils’ win was the second of the week after Loganville run-ruled Apalachee 11-3 on Monday.
“Anybody can beat anybody in this region. You just have to be the last one to score,” Maddox said of the depth in Region 8-AAAAA. “It’s a huge benefit for us to play in these types of games with the kind of intensity we had tonight. Huge crowd that was loud on both sides. But when the pressure got big, we stepped up and I reminded them that we’ve been here before and to just do what we do.”
Loganville returns to action Saturday on the road for a doubleheader at Greenbrier before returning home to face the Lady Wolfpack on Tuesday.
Walnut Grove defeated Greenbrier 5-1 on Thursday and was set to face Hillgrove on Friday night in Powder Springs. The Lady Warriors will be on the road all next week.