The Eastside Eagles were easily the most dominant softball team in their region, and the recently released All-Region 4-AAAA team rosters bared that out.
Eastside placed seven players from its defending region champion squad on this year’s all-region team, and the Lady Eagles’ head coach, Heather Wood, took home Coach of the Year honors, after leading a very young Eastside bunch to a 20-15 record overall and a 12-1 region mark that included a trip to the Elite Eight in Columbus.
As Pitcher of the Year, Rusk, a sophomore, compiled a 10-5 record and a 2.57 ERA while tossing 225 strikeouts in 146 innings pitched.
In addition to Rusk, infielders McKenzie Walker, Jordan Rittenbacher, Kendel McAuliffe and Dani Fairey were selected to the first team. Freshman outfielder, Kelsey Ellis always was tabbed and sophomore catcher, Alysee Dobbs was selected.
With Walker being the team’s lone senior, all of the other all-region performers will return while seven of the other members of the all-region team from other schools are seniors.
Eastside wasn’t the only area school making all-region teams, however.
Newton, also a state tournament team despite its first round loss, saw four players selected to the All-Region 8-AAAAAAA squad. It was Ty’Liyah Hardeman making the first team and Aulora Edwards, Britany Ellis and Mariah Williams adorning the second squad. The Lady Rams finished 10-15 and 5-5 in region play.
In Region 2-AA, the Social Circle Lady Redskins had five players named to the all-region first team: Jess Owens, Shleby Harpe, Kayla Spinks, Lexi Atkinson and Emma Swider. Maddie Poole, Peyton Sorrow, Emily Jacobsen and Peyton Thompson were named to the honorable mention list.
The Lady Redskins lost in the first round of the state tournament to Armuchee, after finishing with 18-13, 5-3 under coach Audra Thomas.
We'll have more season ending softball superlatives in our Sunday December 3 edition where we will reveal The Covington News all-county teams and Player/Pitcher of the Year.