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Woodland softball's season ends with series loss to Loganville

If Woodland softball’s season was going to end, at least it was in dramatic fashion.

With the bases loaded and leading 9-3, Loganville, which had already defeated the Lady Wildcats in Game 1 of a best of three series 6-3, hit a grand slam off Madi Bentley.

The four runs pushed Loganville’s lead to 10 at 13-3, forcing the mercy rule and ending the game.

It was a disappointing end to what had been a strong stretch at the end of the regular season for the Lady Wildcats, who had won eight of nine coming into the series.

Woodland led Game 1, which was started by Sarah Baynard, by a score of 3-2 headed into the top of the fifth. Woodland had thrown out two runners at home the previous inning to limit the Loganville damage to two.

But in the top of the fifth, Loganville exploded for four runs. The Lady Red Devils had been hitting the ball hard and all around the field all night, and the dam finally burst.

“Fifth inning kind of hurt us,” head coach Colman Roberts said. “I thought that kind of changed the whole mood of the game, whole series really.”

Woodland, which left 16 runners on combined in the two games, couldn’t get any more runners across, and dropped the first game 6-3.

In Game 2, Loganville quickly jumped out to a 4-0 lead by the end of the second inning. Woodland fought back in the top of the third, cutting the lead to 4-3 off an Ansley Evans single and a Caroline Higdon triple.

But Loganville, going against freshman pitcher Madi Bentley, proved to have too much firepower, scoring two in the bottom of the third, one in the fourth, and a knockout punch of six in the fifth.

The Lady Red Devils outscored Woodland 19-6 in Wednesday night’s games, providing an offensive onslaught.

They had 13 and 15 hits respectively in the two games, and forced Woodland to come from a point of defense instead of offense.

And so the season comes to a conclusion for Woodland softball. Roberts takes solace in the fact that Woodland lost to was a Loganville team that is ranked in the top 10 of Class 5A and “will go far in the playoffs.”

In a vacuum, this was a successful season for the Lady Wildcats, as they reached the state tournament for the second straight year and rallied in the region tournament to qualify for the region and state tournaments.

“I thought we had a good year,” Roberts said. “We’re young. Hopefully, [we’re] not going to be content with what we did now.”

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