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Softball Eliminated by Prince Avenue 9-3 in GHSA Final Four

COLUMBUS, Ga. – The FPD softball team saw its 2014 season come to a close on Saturday morning, Nov. 1, falling to the Prince Avenue Lady Wolverines 9-3 in the GHSA Class-A State Tournament Final Four at Janice Davis Field at the South Commons Softball Complex.

Prince Avenue has now knocked FPD (26-9) out of the state tournament for the second consecutive year (the Lady Wolverines bested the Lady Vikings 1-0 in 2013). The Lady Vikings have now taken third place twice in that same time span.

“This is the hard part,” FPD head coach Jim Turner said after the game. “I can’t say enough about what these young ladies mean to our school and our program. Things didn’t go our way, but they battled hard like they have all year long.”

Both teams faced the realization that Saturday morning could be their final game of the season. Prince was previously sent to the loser’s brackets on Friday night after an 8-7 extra-inning loss to ELCA, who will go for their second straight state title on Saturday afternoon.

FPD, meanwhile, was sent to the loser’s bracket on Thursday night, Oct. 30, after the same Prince team handed the Lady Vikings a 1-0 loss.

“There was a lot at stake,” Turner said. “Throw in that we were playing in freezing weather and 25 mph winds made it even more difficult. But we have to tip our cap to Prince. They have a good team for sure.”

Playing as the home team after winning the coin toss, the Lady Wolverines attacked first, scoring in the first inning on a Lauren Hudson fielders choice on a ground ball to Emily Rutledge that plated Chandler Carey.

The Lady Wolverines accounted for five more in the second inning to take a commanding 6-0 lead.

But the Lady Vikings chipped away in the third inning, scoring twice highlighted by a Katie Culver double to left field that brought home Maggie Renfroe. Culver would come across later in the inning on a Rutledge sacrifice bunt.

“It’s tough because there were a lot of factors we couldn’t control,” Turner said. “Our girls still played really hard.”

The game remained a 6-2 Prince advantage until the fifth inning when the Lady Wolverines added three insurance runs. FPD answered in the sixth with one run on a RBI double by Allie Parkerson to score Jill Rogers.

The Lady Wolverines were retired in order in the bottom half of the sixth inning and the Lady Vikings were down to their final three outs of the tournament and, thus, the season.

After a Katherine Strickland strikeout and a Sumner Carlton line out to shortstop, Peyton Worsham doubled to right-center. Courtney Lawrence then flied out to center field to end the game and send Prince to the Championship where ELCA awaits.

“We just told the girls after the game how proud we are of them,” Turner said. “We have nothing to be ashamed of. We finished as one of the top three teams in the state this year and we were led by a great senior class in Katherine Strickland, Ashleigh Powers, Courtney Lawrence and Sumner Carlton.”

Worsham (12-4) picked up the loss in the circle for the Lady Vikings, who were out-hit 9-8 on the day. FPD committed three errors while Prince tallied two in the contest.

The FPD Athletic Department congratulates the Lady Vikings on a great year! We wish our seniors well and pray for God’s richest blessings for you!

The Lady Vikings continue to be an elite team at the state level, posting a combined record of 49-19 the last two seasons.

The First Presbyterian Day School Department of Athletics strives to build the student athlete both in the playing arena and the classroom while upholding the school’s mission statement to educate and equip students to change the world for God’s glory. For more information, visit www.fpdvikings.com and sign up for up-to-the-minute news and scores by visiting www.twitter.com/FPDVikingSports.

BOX SCORE:

PRINCE AVENUE 9, FPD 3

FPD 002-001-0 — 3-8-3
PAC 150-030-x — 9-9-2

WP: Emmy Soles. LP: Peyton Worsham (12-4).
2B: FPD – Katie Culver, Allie Parkerson, Worsham; Prince – Jenna Thomas.
Game notes: FPD eliminated by Prince for the second consecutive year in the GHSA Elite Eight/Final Four … FPD takes third place for the second consecutive year … Skylar Sparr was 3-for-4 with two RBI’s for Prince … Culver was 3-for-3 with one RBI for FPD … Soles had 11 strikeouts … Parkerson and Emily Rutledge each had one RBI for FPD.

Record: FPD 26-9.
Next: Season over for FPD.

STATE TOURNAMENT COVERAGE:

Win v. Brookstone (Oct. 31, 2014)

Win v. Athens Christian (Oct. 31, 2014)

Loss v. Prince Avenue (Oct. 30, 2014)

Win v. Brookstone (Oct. 30, 2014)

UPDATED TOURNAMENT BRACKET:
Click HERE for an updated GHSA Class-A Softball Tournament Bracket