POPE FASTPITCH RIDES RECORD BREAKING SEASON ALL THE WAY TO 2019 AAAAAA STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
After finishing state runner up in 2018, the Greyhounds softball team took care of unfinished business by winning the state title in 2019. The state title is the 2nd one in the past 6 seasons for the Greyhounds as they also won the AAAAAA title in 2014. Pope has now been to 4 title games since 2012 finishing runner up in 2012 and 2018 and Pope has made 7 trips to the state finals tournament over the past 8 seasons finishing in the Final Four or better in 6 of the 7 trips.
This season, the Hounds rode a school record 23 game winning streak to the title winning in dominant fashion averaging 10.52 runs per game over the course of the season and only allowing only 8 total runs over the course of the 23 game winning streak. Overall for the season, the Hounds outscored opponents 358 – 48.
The Greyhounds (30-4) 2019 championship campaign finished Monday 10/28 with a victory against opponent Lee County to secure the 6A State Championship title. The Hounds won four straight games at the State Finals tournament in Columbus, outscoring their opponents by an impressive 21-2 margin while surrendering only five total hits to the opposition.
GAME 1: STATE CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT
In game 1 of the tournament, the Hounds prevailed in a tightly contested battle in on Thursday against Apalachee by a score of 3-2. Apalachee struck first by plating two runs in the top of the 5th inning, but the Hounds answer to the Wildcats was immediate courtesy of a solo homerun by junior Bailey Chapin in the bottom of the inning. Then, in the bottom of the 6th inning, it was sophomore’s Peyton McCormack’s 2-strike single that got the Hound’s offense rolling followed by freshman Jadyn Laneaux reaching base via a drag bunt. A defensive miscue on the bunt put both Laneaux and McCormack in scoring position setting the stage for a big 2-run base hit by senior Zoe Laneaux. Laneaux’s hit proved to be the game winner as the Hounds held on for a final score of 3-2 with pitcher Hallie Adams striking out 11 batters and giving up just 1 hit in the contest.
GAME 2: STATE CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT
Game 2 was a night cap on Thursday that saw the Hounds in another close battle against Cherokee county foe River Ridge High School. Hallie Adams was near perfect in a 1-0 victory for the Hounds as she allowed just one base runner courtesy of a hit by pitch (with 1 out in the 7th inning), giving her a no-hitter for the record books. The Hounds plated just one run in the first inning, sparked by a base-hit from Hallie Adams. Courtesy runner Emily Ricci then utilized her speed on the base path to score on an error by River Ridge’s outfielder off a batted ball from senior Carolyn Deady. The victory put Pope into the state semifinals.
GAME 3: STATE CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT
The winner’s bracket final match up was a rematch of the sweet 16 match up in 2018 between the Dacula Falcons and the Pope Greyhounds. Rain was intermittent but proved to be no issue for pitcher Hallie Adams who struck out 10 and gave up just 3 hits in the Hounds run-rule 11-0 victory. Pope’s offensive strike was led by Bailey Chapin who ended the game with 5 RBIs courtesy of two homeruns in the fifth and sixth inning respectively. Zoe Laneaux went 3 for 4 with 2 RBIs to send Pope to the State Championship game for the second year in a row.
STATE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
With afternoon rain threatening, championship Saturday led to an unplanned scenario where Pope’s championship game started an hour and a half after the scheduled start time due to length of games played before the championship game. Also unplanned was that Pope was only able to get in 1 full inning before torrential downpours forced suspension of the game. The 1 inning that did occur was action packed as freshman Jadyn Laneaux drew a walk to start the game, followed by a Hallie Adams Sac Bunt forcing an error by the Lee County’s pitcher and helping Adams reach base. This chain of events set the stage for senior Carolyn Deady to send the Hounds up 3-0 with a homerun on a 1-2 count, making this Deady’s 2nd homerun in a championship game following up on her 2018 sixth inning homerun to send the 2018 championship game to extra innings. As Pope took the field in the bottom half of the 1st inning, the rain began to come down harder forcing Adams to work under tough circumstances leading to two base runners via base on balls. Although challenging conditions, Adams pushed through to strike out Lee County’s five hole hitter for the 3rd out of the inning stranding the two Lee county base runners and stopping Lee County’s momentum dead in it’s tracks. Due to the downpour, the GHSA ultimately decided to suspended the game at the point of interruption and continue the game on Monday at the home field of the tournaments undefeated team. This decision would allow Pope to host the state championship with a 3-0 lead in the top of the 2nd inning.
A GHSA state championship game at a home field is a rare occasion, and the atmosphere did not disappoint. The Pope community packed the stands to cheer the Pope Fastpitch team on during a beautiful afternoon. Jadyn Laneaux starred for Hounds with three hits, including two triples, and scored 2 of Pope’s 6 runs. Carolyn Deady went 2 for 4 and Hallie Adams, Bailey Chapin, and Katie Ward all had one hit apiece to assist the Hounds to a 6-0 victory as the Hounds pushed through to add 3 runs in the 5th inning to put the game away. Adams was dominant in the circle allowing just 1 hit while striking out an astonishing 13 Lee County batters. The Greyhounds’ defense played lights out throughout the entire tournament, not making a single error and boosting the team’s fielding percentage for the season to a program record .977!
STATE FINALS TOURNAMENT TOTALS: Offense: 27 total hits. 4 Homeruns. 21 runs scored Defense: 0 errors Pitching: 5 total hits allowed, 40 strike-outs, 1 no-hitter
Overall for the season, Pope set 13 new team records, 8 single season records, and career records. The 2019 senior class set a record for most wins in a 4 year span with 119 wins (average of 29 per season) had an .881 winning percentage over their 4 years with 3 region championships, 4 trips to Columbus and 2 state title game appearances.
|Batting Average||.571||Jadyn Laneaux|
|On Base %||.651||Jadyn Laneaux|
|Home Runs||28||Carolyn Deady & Bailey Chapin|
|Base on Balls||87||Zoe Laneaux|
|Hit by Pitch||19||Carolyn Deady|
|Slugging %||.822||Zoe Laneaux|
|Winning %||.893||Hallie Adams|
|Put Outs||602||Carolyn Deady|
|Stolen base D||.629||Carolyn Deady|
SINGLE SEASON RECORDS
|Batting Average||Jadyn Laneaux – .571|
|Slugging %||Carolyn Deady 1.198|
|OPS||Carolyn Deady 1.803|
|Runs||Jadyn Laneaux – 52|
|RBI||Carolyn Deady – 58|
|HR||Carolyn Deady – 16|
|Fielding %||Abby Rocco, Carolyn Deady|
|Stolen bases||Jadyn Laneaux – 28|
|Runs / game||10.52|
|On base %||.524|