VALDOSTA -- Lowndes High was a big winner when it came to All-State softball selections.

Five Lady Vikings were chosen for the honor by the coaches of Class AAAAA, including two -- shortstop Jade Jarvis and center fielder Kelly Summers -- who were named to the first team and will represent Lowndes in the North-South All-Star Game in July at Georgia Tech. Jarvis was also selected as the Class AAAAA Player of the Year.

Senior Lauren Lineberger, who was an All-State catcher two years ago before sitting out her junior season with a back injury, was a second-team selection. Senior Kristin McLeod and sophomore Lauren Rowe were honorable mention selections.

"You've got to be excited about that. It's a credit to the talent we have here," said Lowndes head coach Nick Petro.

Jarvis, who along with Summers signed a scholarship with the University of Georgia, batted .510 for the Vikings and ended the regular season with hits in 11 straight at-bats. She was quick to give credit to the Lord and her teammates, but clearly she was excited by the honor.

"I was just shocked," she said. "Player of the year, that's what I've been working for all these years. Although it's a great way to be honored, I would trade it for a state championship. But I'm just really excited about getting that recognition."

"There was no question in anybody's mind," said Petro of Jarvis' selection for player of the year. "She proved herself in the (regular season) tournaments, sectionals and the state tournaments. I heard that a lot with the people we played and even fans and umpires. It's always nice to have a player of the year on your side."

Lowndes finished the season 26-4 and made the state tournament in Columbus for the third straight season. Still, the Lady Vikings play outside the spotlight of the metro Atlanta schools, making this year's bumper crop of selections even sweeter.

"I'm so proud of our team," said Summers, who hit .324 and swiped 12 bases from the leadoff spot.. "We had an awesome season, and that puts the icing on the cake. That just shows how much Lowndes softball has really progressed the past few years."

"I was glad to know that five people made it from our team," said Rowe. "South (Georgia) is usually not portrayed as having great teams or great players. And for us to have two honorable mentions and three on first and second teams, that's great."

"I think it's awesome that we made a name for ourselves," said Lineberger, who added she is considering playing collegiately at North Georgia or Piedmont College. "All of our girls finished with a bang."

Rowe was the only Lowndes underclassman named to the team, and her coach is already looking towards a promising future.

"It's a step in the right direction," Petro said. "Hopefully she'll improve on that and be first team next year."

"I was ecstatic," said Rowe. "All the hard work paid off. I wish we would have won state, but I think next year we'll be just as strong."



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