Valwood softball team finishes strong; Ready for next year

Submitted PhotoLongtime Valwood coach Mike Patrick, Camden Anders, Graceigh Booth and head softball coach Courtney Carter.

HAHIRA – The Valwood Valiants softball team’s season ended with a second-place finish in the region and a place 6th finish in GISA AAA State. A young team with no seniors and three starting 8th graders brings much promise to the Valiant squad for coming years.

The team collected many individual awards claiming five all-region players: Graceigh Booth, Ranada Vinson, Madison Waters, Camden Anders, and Ellie Grace Shaw. They also clutched two All-State awards, Graceigh Booth and Camden Anders. 

Booth, a junior, was the starting catcher who was also a threat at the plate. She led the team in batting average and tied for leading the team in walks (11) and the least strikeouts (only 3 in 18 games). A second junior, Vinson, tallied a batting average of .430 and led the team in number of hits. She hit her first home run of her career and only had 6 strikeouts in 18 games. The third junior, Madison Waters, played third base for the Valiants. She was the vocal leader on the field and also made her mark against opposing teams with a .456 batting average. Waters tied Booth with the least strikeouts (3) and most walks (11) on the team. The fourth all region player is sophomore pitcher, Camden Anders. She racked up 140 strikeouts in 18 games and had a .418 batting average. The last all region player was 8th grader, Shaw. She played outfield and shortstop for the Valiants and added a great deal of speed to the base paths.

Junior Jacoba Foster made the Honorable Mention team due to her versatility on defense running down fly balls in the outfield when needed and scooping them at first. She also brings a high on base percentage and much power to the lineup.

As Coach Carter looks back on the year, she comments on the growth in every aspect of the game. With three transfers, the girls learned to work together quickly. There was a lot to figure out about who should play where. With three eighth graders consistently in the lineup, they had to learn to play a faster game quickly. They rose to the challenge and we accomplished way more than anyone thought we would.

Though the season is over, softball is not for most of these girls. Most have already started working hard with their travel ball teams, attending college camps, hitting lessons, pitching lessons, and weightlifting workouts. The drive in these athletes is second to none and promises a bright future for next year and the future of our program.

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