Lowndes Academy Lady Rebels are AISA AA state champions in softball again

Published 8:16 pm Saturday, May 3, 2014

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The Lowndes Academy Lady Rebels are back-to-back AISA AA softball state champs.

The Lowndes Academy Lady Rebels are back-to-back AISA AA softball state champs.

By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal

The Lowndes Academy Lady Rebels are back-to-back AISA AA state champions in softball.

The Lady Rebels completed the 2014 season with a thrilling 8-7 eighth inning win over Wilcox Academy and a 13-0 rout of that same team for the AA state championship on Saturday at Lagoon Park in Montgomery.

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The Lady Rebels went 24-10 on the season overall. And they were 2013 AISA state champions in softball, as well.

While Lowndes Academy won their area, they were a third seed in the state playoff tournament due to a 3-2 loss against Wilcox Academy in the regional tournament.

Head softball coach Matt Marshall said because of that third seed during state tournament play, “If we do it (when the state title), we will have beaten the best teams.”

Marshall said following the championship game, “It was special to win it for these seniors.” He said, “They’ve been with me… some of them… the pitcher Paige Hill has been a starter since the seventh grade.”

Hill pitched all four games for the Lady Rebels through Friday and Saturday state championship playoff action. However, she saved the best for last, said Marshall, a one-hitter in the 13-0 state championship game.

He said the entire 2014 season has been a group effort by his team, especially pulling things together after Mallory McCurdy broke her ankle in the third game of the season.

He said Emily Dunning played outstanding at third base and hit the ball well. On Saturday, Marshall said. Dunning went three-for-three, had a double, a home run and four RBIs.

Setting up championship Saturday, Lowndes Academy defeated Coosa Valley Academy 10-2 and Pickens Academy 11-2 on Friday.

Pitcher Hill said of her team’s win, “I very thankful, and I’m just happy that God was with us. We showed up and God showed out, and I’m very proud of my team… and most importantly the fans and the families.”

Named to the State Softball Tournament Team from Lowndes Academy were Dunning, Abby Ray, Jessica Gallardo, and Most Valuable Player Hill.

The 2014 Lady Rebels includes: Abby Ray, a freshman; Madolynn Headley, an eighth grader; Abby Pitts, a junior; Laura Jean McCurdy, a sophomore; Gallardo, a junior; Dunning, a sophomore; Sarah McIntosh, a sophomore; Kailan Shepherd, a senior; Taylor King, a sophomore; Khaki Gaston, a junior; Emi Ann Glushick, an eighth grader; Paige Hill, a senior; Mallory McCurdy, a senior; Carmen Till, a sophomore; and Caroline Bennett, a junior.

In addition to Marshall, P.J. Gallardo, Frank King and Ronald Wilkinson coached the team.