Loganville’s Kinley Stewart (2) gets a hug from teammate Grayson Cruce after Stewart made a diving catch for an out in the Lady Devils game against South Effingham Thursday.

Rain put a damper of an otherwise festive day of softball on Thursday and forced postponement of games on Thursday evening and delays of game on Friday morning in Columbus during the Georgia High School Association softball state championship tournament.

However, every team at the mecca of Georgia high school softball was able to get at least one game in before games were called Thursday evening. Unfortunately for Walton County, many of those games turned out to be losses for the local teams that earned spots in the tournament. George Walton, Loganville and Walnut Grove all lost their respective opening games of the tournament and faced elimination Friday afternoon when play resumed. Social Circle was the only local team to win its tournament opener, defeating Jeff Davis 12-5 and setting up a rematch with region foe Monticello Friday afternoon.

Look for complete coverage of the 2018 GHSA state softball championships in Wednesday’s edition of The Walton Tribune.

George Walton

The Lady Dawgs lost a tough 4-2 contest to First Presbyterian Day in nine innings Thursday afternoon despite a stellar performance by Taylor Tinsley.

Tinsley went 3-for-4 at the plate with a run scored, but it was in the circle where she really shined. Tinsley pitched nine innings with six hits and just two earned runs, but the freshman logged an astounding 20 strikeouts against the Lady Vikings.

Senior Kelsey Barrineau drove in both runs for the Lady Bulldogs during the loss. Barrineau was 1-for-2 with two walks in the contest.

The loss forced GWA into an elimination game with Tattnall Square Friday afternoon. The Lady Bulldogs saw their run in Columbus come to an end at the hand of their former Georgia Independent School Association rivals as the Lady Trojans defeated GWA 1-0.


The Lady Devils lost a heartbreaker to South Effingham to open the state championship tournament.

Tied 2-2 in the bottom of the seventh with a runner on first, Loganville’s Emily Buck was called for an illegal pitch which moved the runner into scoring position at second base. One pitch later, South Effingham drilled a single to right that allowed the runner to score, resulting in the 3-2 loss for the Lady Devils.

The loss set up a matchup with Walnut Grove in an elimination game Friday afternoon. Loganville broke out the sticks and hung six runs on the Lady Warriors en route to the 6-1 win to stay alive in the tournament.

The Lady Devils survived and advanced again with a 6-4 win over Thomas County Central later Friday evening, setting up a rematch with either Buford or South Effingham Saturday morning.

Social Circle

The Lady Redskins have been strong during the first two days of the tournament. Social Circle defeated Jeff Davis 12-5 on Thursday to open the tournament then followed it up with an 8-5 walk-off win against Monticello on Friday.

Social Circle’s offense was potent against Jeff Davis, shelling out 12 runs on 20 hits including five-run inning in the top of the first and the top of the seventh.

Friday’s contest with Monticello proved to be a dogfight, with the Lady Redskins coming out on top thanks to a 3-run walk-off homer by Aubrey Garrett.

Social Circle is set to play another region foe, Banks County, Saturday morning. The winner of that game will move on to the Class AA championship game.

Walnut Grove

Bainbridge got the best of the Lady Warriors in the opening game of the Class AAAAA bracket, defeating Walnut Grove 7-2.

Walnut Grove mustered just one hit in the loss, a single by Nova Wright in the top of the fifth. But a whopping six walks by Bainbridge’s pitcher as well as a few hit batsman and wild pitches allowed the Lady Warriors to plate two runs in the third inning.

The loss set up a rematch between Loganville and the Lady Warriors in an elimination game Friday afternoon. Walnut Grove’s season came to a close with 6-1 loss to the Lady Devils.

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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