A magical run towards a state title came to an unceremonious end for Loganville softball Saturday with a 12-7 loss to Northside Columbus just a game short of the Class AAAAA championship game.
Loganville took an early lead in the contest, but couldn’t overcome a Northside Grand slam in the fifth that put the Lady Patriots up 5-4. Things didn’t get much better in the sixth inning when Northside put up six runs to take a 11-4 lead followed by a another run in the top of the seventh. However, the Lady Devils kept fighting and put up three runs in the bottom half of the inning to make it 12-7 when the final out was recorded.
“This team fights and they battle,” head coach Alan Maddox said. “We’ve had our backs against the wall a few times this year and they never give up. It showed there in that last inning. That just goes to the heart of this team and what they do.”
After losing to eventual state champ Starr’s Mill Friday in the winner bracket, Loganville battled back through the loser’s bracket by beating Blessed Trinity 4-0 and Woodland-Bartow 6-0 to move within a game of the state championship.
The pitching duo of Shelby Coffey and Grace Kendrick helped lock down the circle while the potent Lady Devils lineup, including power hitter Anna Waites, continued to produce runs for Loganville. Across its final three games, Loganville’s lineup pumped out 26 hits including two home runs.
Waites made her mark in the record book of the Loganville softball program Saturday. During the fifth inning of the Lady Devils’ 6-0 win over Woodland, Waites blasted a 2-run homer which set a new single season home run record. The previous record was 10 set by Grayson Cruce in 2018, but Waites, who wears No. 11, moved the bar up to 11 homers in a season with the shot.
The third-place finish is Loganville’s best finish since 2018 when the Lady Devils battled Locust Grove for the Class AAAAA state title before falling in the championship game.
“We accomplished a lot of the things we set out to do at the beginning of the year,” Maddox said. “We really wanted to win a region title and make it back to Columbus, but finishing third in the state is just kind of icing on the cake.”