BY KATHY PICKENS
The Greenville Standard
The Fort Dale varsity softball team recently closed out their season with a three-game appearance at the AISA state tournament at Lagoon Park.
In their first game, they faced Glenwood and fell 14-2 in three innings. Catcher Lily VanDyke and left fielder Madison Freeman had a single each for the only hits of the game.
Their second game against Bessemer was an exciting 4-1 win and a real crowd pleaser. Emily Cauthen went 3-3 at the plate with two singles and a double.
Anna Claire Thomas pitched a complete seven-inning game allowing only four hits and one run while walking three and striking out two. Thomas enjoyed the backup of a very tight defense.
Head coach Clint Lowery praised his squad for their mental toughness and teamwork.
In their third and final game, the Eagles fell to Springwood 13-5. Notably at the plate, Thomas was three-for-three, including a double, three runs, and an RBI.
Freeman had a double that scored two RBIs, and Bailey Lambert had two singles, one run, and an RBI.
Coach Lowery commented on the year saying, “This was a hard season with all the adversity, especially early on. But by overcoming these obstacles, we reached the state tournament for the third year in a row, which has never been done by our school.
“We have always had great senior leadership and that continued this year with Lily VanDyke. She was a major part of putting our softball program on the map and setting a standard for what is expected of a Lady Eagle softball player. The future is really bright with eight starters returning and 16 of 18 players returning.”