Lowndes Academy wins state softball title
Published 7:11 pm Monday, May 6, 2013
By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal
The Lowndes Academy Lady Rebels made a clean sweep of the Alabama Independent School Association 2A State Softball Tournament in Montgomery, clinching the title Saturday night at Lagoon Park with an 8-1 win over the Autauga Academy Lady Generals.
Head Softball Coach Matt Marshall had nothing but praise for All-Tournament Most Valuable Player Paige Hill.
Email newsletter signup
“Paige had an unbelievable tournament,” he said. “She hit three home runs in the tournament. I don’t remember her getting out but maybe one or two times.”
Marshall said Hill would have had another homer in the tournament had a 15 mph wind not been blowing straight in.
While Marshall said Hill carried the team on her shoulder for a while, “It wasn’t just her,” he said. He said the Lady Rebels only gave up four runs in the entire tournament.
“I’m really proud of that,” Marshall said. “We’ve been telling them we have to do better on defense all year and they finally put it all together. We asked for defense and they played defense.”
The Rebels ended the 2013 season with a 29-7 overall record, according to Marshall.
He said the Lady Rebels have played for a state title six times in the past eight years and have now won four state titles.
“I’ve had these babies since they were in the seventh grade,” Marshall said. “They’ve worked so hard for this. I’m just proud for them. They put the work in. They put the time in. This is all about them right now.”
The Lady Rebels had to win three games before they could go for the state crown.
The tournament began for the Lady Rebels on Friday, May 3 against Northside Methodist Academy, who Lowndes Academy defeated 15-0.
The second game was against Coosa Valley Academy, which Lowndes won 9-3.
Autauga Academy was up next for the Lowndes Lady Rebels on Saturday and followed a four-hour delay.
They Lady Rebels came out swinging the bat early and often defeating the Lady Generals in five innings 12-0.
That set the Lady Rebels up for the championship game, which was rematch with the Lady Generals.
The Lady Rebels again stayed the course swinging the bat early and scoring two runs in the second, two in the third, two in the fifth.
Senior All Tournament player Anna Marie Bozeman was the starting pitcher for the Lady Rebels and went four strong innings before being relieved by Hill to close out the game.
The Lady Rebels played great defense all weekend long behind great pitching and hitting and clinched the championship winning by a final count 8-1.
Shelby Pitts, a senior on the team who was injured in automobile accident near the end of the regular season, said the state title meant “everything” to her.
“I’m so proud of everybody,” Pitts said.
Pitts said she was glad she got to spend her last season with the girls of this year’s team. She said she is recovering and hopes the healing speeds up now.
Eighth grade All-Tournament Team Player Abby Ray said, “I didn’t expect it.”
Jessica Gallardo, a sophomore All-Tournament Player said, “It was just a real surprise. We worked hard. I just think we showed up and so God showed up for us today. I just think the team deserved it this year working hard.”
Leading the way for the Lady Rebels was Hill, a junior who had a monster weekend going 9-13 with 3 home runs, and she said she enjoyed being All-Tournament MVP but she was just proud of her team.
“We’ve worked so hard this season. It means a lot,” she said.
For the tournament, Hill was 9-13 with 3 home runs; junior Mallory McCurdy was 6-15; Gallardo 7-13; and Ray 6-15 with one home run.
The Class AA All-Tournament Team included: Wilcox – Mandy Jordan and Cameron Cooper; Autauga – Kristen Rogers, Riley Donhey and Abby Hinson; Lowndes – Bozeman, Gallardo, Ray and MVP Hill.
Marshall along with assistant coach P.J. Gallardo and Ronald Wilkinson coached the Lady Rebels.
The entire roster includes (2) Ray, (4) Abby Pitts, (7) Laura Jean McCurdy, (8) Gallardo, (10) in wheelchair, Shelby Pitts, (11) Emily Dunning, (12) Sarah Ann McIntosh, (13) Kailan Sheperd, (14) Taylor King, (17) Hill, (18) Bozeman, (19) Mallory McCurdy, (20) Carmen Till, (21) Hailey Wilkinson and (22) Caroline Bennett.