The Lyons Midget Girls softball team played in the toughest district in the state. Three of the top four teams at the GRPA State Tourney came out of District 1. Vidalia, the second place team at district, finished fourth. Swainsboro the District 1 champion wound up second and the 11-12 year olds from the Lyons Recreation Department won the GRPA State Championship at Diamond Lakes near Augusta.
The girls went through the bracket winning all four of their games, three by one run including the championship matchup- 9-8 over Swainsboro.
Both teams scored three runs in the first inning. Swainsboro did it on a single, a walk and an error and Lyons countered with a leadoff single by Lauren Hattaway, a RBI single by Kaligh Sanders and a one-run triple, down the right field line, by Kassidy Brantley.
Swainsboro didn’t score in the second, but Lyons did- three more runs to take a 6-3 lead. Hattaway, Railee Thomas, Torie Wright and Sanders also stroked singles.
Swainsboro scored an unearned run to cut the Lyons lead to 6-4 in the third inning and then Lyons built it back up to 8-4 scoring a pair of third inning runs. Alexa Ledford and Rylie Lumley each singled.
Pictures by Natalie Brantley
In the top of the fourth Swainsboro scored three times to cut the Lyons lead to 8-7 and then the Emmanuel County girls tied the game at 8 with a run in the fifth. So Lyons had to get busy offensively. They scored the game-winner in the bottom of the fifth as Ledford singled and scored.
Wright started the game in the circle and she was relieved by Charlee Eli. Kaleigh Sanders pitched three innings and Hattaway finished the game protecting the lead in the top of the sixth retiring Swainsboro three-up, three-down.
Other game in the tourney
Tuesday- Lyons 9, Wayne County 8 (District 2 champion) 8- Lyons had to rally from an an 8-6 deficit going in to the final inning- the bottom of the fourth. Lauren Hattaway singled and scored on a Tori Wright double. Kaleigh Sanders singled scoring Wright to tie the game at 8. Rylie Lumley entered the game as a pinch runner and stole second base on the first pitch and then with two outs Kassidy Brantley doubled down the third base line to score Lumley to put Lyons up 9-8. The girls made the final out in the fourth and the game was called due to the time limit. Sanders was the starting pitcher and Charlee Eli relieved her and picked up the win.
Wednesday- Lyons 10, vs. Vidalia 9- Lyons led 3-1 after one inning and 6-3 going to the bottom of the fourth and that is when Vidalia tied the game at 6. The time limit was up so the game went to an extra inning using the international tie breaker putting a runner at second base to start the frame.
Ariel Reynolds scored with one down on a double hit by Rylee Thomas. Tori Wright made it 8-6 with a RBI double. Kaleigh Sanders singled and Kassidy Brantley pulled a triple down the third base line scoring two runs to put Lyons up 10-6.
Vidalia scored three times in the bottom of the fifth. Wright, who started the game in the circle, recorded the first out and then moved to shortstop where she caught two pop ups to end the game stranding a runner at third base. Wright was the winning pitcher and Charlee Ely picked up the save while getting the final two outs.
Wednesday- Lyons 10, Troup County 4- The top of the lineup hit the ball well and Wright pitched the whole game.
Players on the team
Dirk Brantley- head coach
James Thomas- assistant coach
Corey Reynolds- assistant coach