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Natalie Ray, Kailey Rusk headline Eastside's All-Region representation
Natalie Ray
Eastside's Natalie Ray was named Co-Freshman of the Year by The Covington News, along with Newton's Hayden Pearson. -photo by Sydney Chacon

COVINGTON, Ga. — Seven members of the Region 4-AAAA runner-up Eastside Eagles softball team adorned the 2018 All-Region first and second team rosters, with freshman Natalie Ray and junior pitcher Kailey Rusk taking home player and pitcher of the year awards respectively. 

Ray wasted no time making her presence felt at the high school varsity level, as she led the Eagles with her .432 batting average. She paced Eastside offensively with a team-high seven doubles and two triples as well as 14 stolen bases. She was second on the team in RBIs with 17. 

Rusk shared the Pitcher of the Year honors with Hampton’s Skyler Trahan. She finished with a 10-7 record and 178 strikeouts while recording a 1.82 ERA in 132 innings of work in the circle. 

Eastside pitcher Kailey Rusk took home another pitcher of the year accolade in Region 4-AAAA. Originally committed to Kennesaw State, the Eagles junior says her new commitment to UNG is solid. - photo by Brett Fowler

Joining Rusk and Ray on the first team was senior second baseman, Kendel McAuliffe, senior first baseman Dani Fairey, third baseman, Jordan Rittenbacher, junior Alysee Dobbs and freshman outfielder, Jada Brown. 

Sophomore left fielder, Ava Anglin was named to the second team. 

The Lady Eagles finished 22-10 overall with a 6-1 Region 4-AAAA record. After sweeping Columbus in the first round of the Class AAAA state playoffs, Eastside fell short of securing a back-to-back Columbus state tournament berth at the hands of a Perry squad that defeated Eastside 2-1 in a best-of-three series.