The Mount Pisgah varsity softball team earned its first GHSA State Championship on Saturday with a 9-8 win over Prince Avenue Christian. In a back and forth game, the Lady Patriots (25-9) used clutch hitting to win the Class A Private School Championship.
“It feels almost unreal,” said head coach Haley Brooks. “This has been a realistic goal for us for three seasons and to finally accomplish the mission is very satisfying.”
Pisgah got on the board first scoring four runs in the top of the third inning. Virginia Eith and Camille Tracy opened the inning by reaching on Wolverine errors. Madison Wickine laid down a bunt and beat the throw to first giving the Patriots the bases loaded and no outs. A single by Nicole Peters plated Eith to put Pisgah on the board. Madison Claytor followed with another hit to score Tracy for a 2-0 lead. Morgan Walters and Jen Sapp each followed with sacrifice flys, giving the Patriots a 4-0 lead.
Prince Avenue responded immediately with five runs in the bottom of the inning. They were aided by four walks and a hit batter. The Wolverines added another run in the fourth and took a 6-4 lead into the sixth inning.
Pisgah’s usually reliable Courtney Condon struggled on the mound and was replaced by junior Jen Sapp. But Condon was able to shake off her troubles on the mound and come through at the plate. Her solo home run in the top of the sixth cut the lead to 6-5, but the junior was not done.
Down to their last at bat Tracy, who has committed to Georgia College, led off the seventh inning with a single and advanced to second on a Wickline bunt. Nicole Peters flew out, putting the game in the hands of senior Claytor. The Ohio University commitment singled to score Tracy and tie the game. Walters was then walked to put two runners on for Condon who came through with a three-run homer to give Pisgah a 9-6 lead.
“I am extremely proud of Courtney and how she was able to regroup and focus on her opportunities at the plate,” Brooks said. “I feel as if the girls really reinforced the importance of the team and what we could accomplish together, and she was able to adjust and more than fill her role at the plate. What she did was unbelievable.”
Prince Avenue was not finished as they scored two more runs in the bottom of the seventh to close the gap to 9-8. With two runners on and two outs, Sapp coaxed a ground ball which resulted in the third out.
This was the second come from behind win for Pisgah in this tournament against Price Avenue. On Friday the Patriots trailed 2-1 in the sixth inning, when Sapp singled with two outs to drive in two runs for a 3-2 win. They also trailed in the opening game of the tournament against Eagles Landing and in the first game of their playoff series against Brookstone.
“These girls…they do not quit. It doesn’t matter what the score is, or what inning it is…they always press on and believe that we can pull it out. I have the same strong belief because I can see the collective confidence in them and have seen them do it so many times. It only took one spark to ignite the whole lineup,” Brooks said.
She added, “I also feel that the team’s reliance on God rather than just their physical ability was the key to that confidence and chemistry. Team prayers in the 6th inning and seeing Jennifer Sapp look to the sky before her winning hit Friday night and when she stepped on the mound in the bottom of the 4th in the state Championship game is a true testament to the faith that this whole team has. We truly knew that if we trusted him great things could be accomplished!”