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South Paulding softball finishes in Elite Eight
by Ericka Birdsong
ebirdsong@neighbornewspapers.com
November 08, 2012 04:24 PM | 1759 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
South Paulding softball seniors, from left, Kayla Durham, Ansley Weatherford and Erika Arthrell stand together at a recent school pep rally.
South Paulding softball seniors, from left, Kayla Durham, Ansley Weatherford and Erika Arthrell stand together at a recent school pep rally.
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The state champions have been crowned and softball season is officially over, but the season ended a little early for the South Paulding Spartans as they lost in the Elite Eight.

Finishing in the top six of all AAAAA teams in the state, the Lady Spartans finished the year Oct. 26 with a 5-2 loss to Loganville.

“I felt like we played well down in Columbus the last two games. The first game against Union Grove we faced a really strong pitcher and she shut us down,” said head coach Janet Oglesby.

South Paulding lost the first game to eventual state champion Union Grove 7-0 before pulling out a victory against Allatoona, 5-2, to give the Lady Spartans one more shot at the Final Four.

“We were very close to advancing to the Final Four. The last game against Loganville was 1-1 in the sixth inning and was very close until they scored a few in the sixth. We missed out on some opportunities with runners in scoring position throughout the game,” Oglesby said.

The team’s motto this season was, “One Team One Fight,” and Oglesby said her players were all in it together throughout the season with “different players stepping up and contributing in different roles.”

Some of those players were Ansley Weatherford with a .471 batting average, Ansley Wilbanks with .449, and AnnDee Priest with .447.

Even though they did not advance any further, Oglesby is proud of her team for the job they did all season, making it further than ever before.

“I am so proud of the girls for going as far as we did. It was an impressive season and the farthest we have ever advanced. The first time a team makes it to the Elite Eight is always very special,” Oglesby said.

With the season over, Oglesby and the returning players have already set goals for the 2013 season.

“Our goals for next season are to build on this season. We will look at things we can improve on and hopefully start where we left off. The team has now had a taste of a high level of success and is hungry to get back there and go farther next year,” Oglesby said.
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