After a magical season that saw the Bainbridge High School Lady Cats Softball team navigate the regular season undefeated, win the Region Championship, and make it to the Elite 8 of the State Tournament, Bainbridge fell just short of a State title Saturday.
The Lady Cats finished the regular season undefeated and swept the first two rounds of the State Playoffs at home by defeating Ola High School (McDonough) and Statesboro in back to back series.
Up next? The State Tournament.
The GHSA Softball Playoffs follow a tournament format after the first two rounds and the Lady Cats made their way to Columbus, GA to face off against the best in the state. After defeating Walnut Grove 7-2 in the first round, they squared off against South Effingham (Guyton, GA) and dispatched them 4-1.
Just two wins away from history, the Lady Cats would go up against a familiar opponent – the defending State Champion Locust Grove Wildcats. In August, the Lady Cats defeated the Wildcats 1-0 and went into Saturday morning’s game riding an incredible 27 game winning streak, boasting an undefeated 27-0 record and just one win short of playing for a State Title. However, the Lady Cats suffered their first loss of the year, falling to Locust Grove 6-1.
Just an hour or so after game one ended, the Lady Cats faced Loganville in an elimination game, still just one win away from the State Title game. However, lady luck wasn’t on their side and the Lady Cats lost for just the second time all season, falling 5-4.
No Title? No Problem. The Lady Cats Did Something Better.
A magical season ended for the Lady Cats just short of a State Championship. Larger than that, however, was the unity and community spirit this team this team brought out in all of us. Just days after Hurricane Michael devastated our community, the Lady Cats came together and defeated a tough Statesboro team in the second round of the playoffs and galvanized a town torn apart and still picking up the pieces. The #purplereign and #Bainbridgestrong movements were embodied by teenagers on a dirt infield and through their perseverance, Bainbridge folks found a shining light in a tough time. I’m sure those girls would have much rather won a State Championship Saturday, but I can tell you they did something even bigger – they offered a reprieve from one of the worst storms we’ve ever seen. State Champs or not, the Lady Cats did something that nobody else could. They helped heal a community.
Congratulations, ladies! A magical season and one that won’t soon be forgotten!