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Angels take second at state
ec angels second
The GRPA Mite softball runner up Angels players include Autumn Conaway, Olivia Lavarenz, Naomi Sapp, Ashley Pevey, Alexis Studier, Shelby Wilson, Brooke Strickland, Joanna Jarriel, Payton Allen, Allison Kieffer, Carli Royal and Kerrigan Newman. Matt Newman, Scott Pevey, Mike Wilson, Randy Sapp and Kent Strickland coach the Angels. - photo by Photo by Jimmy Currier

The Effingham Angels gave it a good shot, but like Jackson County’s last 12 opponents, were unable to upset the Stars.

Jackson County defeated Effingham County 6-1 Saturday in the GRPA Mite Girls state softball tournament in Springfield to win its 13th consecutive game and its fifth tournament championship.

Timely hitting, solid defense and dominating pitching from ace Kortnee Satterfield was the recipe for success.

The Angels’ best scoring opportunity came in the fourth inning, trailing 4-1. Olivia Laverenz hit a leadoff single, followed by Ashley Pevey’s single, which moved Laverenz to third. That’s when Jackson County brought in Satterfield to replace Bridgett Barnett.

Satterfield’s first pitch was encouraging to Effingham, as it rolled by the catcher, allowing Pevey to advance to second. That wouldn’t happen again as Satterfield settled down and struck out the next two Angel hitters.

Then, Effingham’s Naomi Sapp hit the ball right in front of home plate and advanced to first. With the bases loaded, Satterfield wiped her brow and whizzed the ball over the plate three straight times to escape the jam.

Satterfield wasn’t only dangerous in the circle, but also at the plate. With Jackson leading 2-1 in the third inning and runners on second and third with two outs, she drove Shelby Wilson’s pitch into centerfield for two runs.

Besides that difficult third inning, Wilson pitched well and showed true grit in the fifth inning. She took a hard come backer off the arm, winced and threw the runner out at first. That’s when Effingham’s coach Matt Newman replaced her with Laverenz.

Newman said he wanted to win the championship for the county, but said he’s happy with second place.

“We were in a tough position coming out of the losers bracket but the girls played hard,” he said. “I’m proud of the girls and they really worked hard this season.”

Saturday morning, the Angels advanced to the championship game by defeating Thomaston-Upson County 6-1. Lavarenz pitched four innings for the win and Kerrigan Newman closed out the game.

Effingham broke a 1-1 tie in the third inning, scoring four runs, including three unearned.

Leading 2-1 with two outs and runners on second and third, Laverenz hit a routine grounder to the shortstop, who threw wide to first pulling the first baseman off the bag. Newman and Wilson scampered home before the first baseman realized what had happened.

Wilson and Sapp each had two hits in the game for Effingham.

Friday evening, Effingham staved off elimination defeating Gilmer County 3-2. Wilson pitched a complete game for the win. Alexis Studier scored the winning run in the sixth inning off Naomi Sapp’s bunt.

The summer softball season’s not over for the Angels. They will compete in the World Fastpitch Connection B Class World Series this week at Paulson Softball Complex in Savannah.