Woodland, for example, played 13 teams that made the state playoffs — five of them AAAAA teams. Eight of their opponents advanced to the second round of those playoffs.
The Lady Wildcats, coached by Colman Roberts, also hung the first loss on Harrison, ranked No. 1 in AAAAA at the time, and finished third (6-5) in always tough Region 7A-AAAA with an overall record of 14-17.
Cross-county rival Cass finished fourth in Region 7A-AAAA with a 9-20 overall record and 1-7 in its region. It entered the year with a lot of young players who were very game and will return many of those players next year with high expectations.
Cartersville improved dramatically over a year ago, as the Lady Purple Hurricanes finished with a 10-10 overall record under second-year coach Rick Holsomback while laying the foundation for a competitive program in the future. The Lady Canes went 6-5 in Region 7-AAA and 2-2 in their region tournament, coming within a victory of making the state playoffs. Three teams in their region made the Georgia High School’s Elite Eight.
Adairsville finished its season 8-20 overall and 5-7 in Region 7A-AA, improving its competitiveness under new coach Jacob Travis and pointing itself toward a bright future with a very young but now experienced team.
Excel Christian, after helping lead the county’s charge into the playoffs several years, faced a rebuilding year, going 4-17 overall. The Lady Eagles appeared to gain some traction under new coach Kandace Bruno and also will be returning experienced players next season.
Here is a look at the 2011 All-County Softball Team:
The senior pitcher/left fielder was 12-12 on the mound with 83 strikeouts and 49 walks and had a .919 fielding percentage. Bucy started all 31 games for the Lady Cats and led the county mound performers by hurling 135 innings, giving up 88 runs, 51 earned. She had an ERA of 2.64 and surrendered 49 walks. She was a big contributor with her bat, too, leading the Lady Wildcats in hits (35) and doubles (seven) and was second in RBIs (21) and average (.376). Bucy, who scored 21 runs, struck out just four times and was 16 for 44 (.364) with runners in scoring position. She also had a .388 on-base percentage for the year.
Bailey collected eight wins and fanned 71 batters for the Lady Colonels while earning the county’s lowest ERA, 2.19. She also helped her team offensively, contributing 27 hits and 13 RBIs and scoring 15 runs with a .310 batting average. She stole three bases, collected six bases on balls and played in 30 games.
The freshman pitcher helped propel the Lady Purple Hurricanes from an 0-13 record a year ago to a No. 6 finish in its region. She had an overall record of 10-9, 6-5 in Region 7-AAA, compiling a 3.05 ERA while allowing 77 runs, 51 of which were earned. She pitched 117 innings and gave up 137 hits and 34 bases on balls. She struck out 94 batters.
The junior catcher led the team in two power categories — home runs (two) and doubles (seven) — and was fifth in hits (31) and fourth in batting average (.344). She scored 22 runs and had 25 RBIs. Fritz was 17 for 41 (.415) with runners in scoring position. She collected nine bases on balls. Behind the plate, Lacey threw out eight of 24 runners attempting to steal. She committed two errors during the season while catching every inning but one. She started in all 31 games for the Lady Cats and had a .465 on-base percentage.
Ballard led the Lady Colonels in most offensive categories and was the team’s leading hitter with a sparkling .352 average. She collected 25 hits, including one home run, four doubles and 19 singles, and tallied 14 RBIs. Ballard also drew 15 bases on balls and got on base five times after being hit by a pitch and stole two bases. She scored 13 runs.
Weeks, a junior shortstop and pitcher, was a spark plug offensively for the Lady Tigers. The leadoff hitter had the team and county’s highest batting average, .442, and tallied 34 hits, three home runs, one triple, four doubles, and 26 singles. She drew 16 bases on balls and stole 11 bases. Weeks scored 33 runs while striking out just four times. Her on-base percentage was .649.
The junior shortstop was the leadoff hitter for the Lady Wildcats most of the season, a position from which she was a frequent traveler on the base path, leading her team in runs scored (31), average (.425) and triples (two). She was credited with 34 hits, including six doubles and 25 singles, and drew 17 bases on balls. She was 6 for 13 (.462) with runners in scoring position and compiled a .584 on-base percentage. She proved a pesky base runner who stole seven bases.
The freshman was an offensive leader for her team, pacing it in all categories except runs scored and was tied for third with nine. Jackson hit for a sterling .421 batting average, including 24 hits, one triple, seven doubles, and 16 singles. She drove in 17 runs and scored nine runs for the Lady Canes.
The freshman left fielder batted most of the year in the second spot, where she was a major cog in her team’s offensive success. Roberts was third in hits (33), doubles (three), stolen bases (four), and average (.367). She singled 30 times, drew four bases on balls and had 13 RBIs. She was 16 for 33 (.485) with runners in scoring position and played in 161 innings and 31 games, making just two errors and tallying 23 putouts and two assists. Roberts started all 31 games for the Lady Cats and led them in sacrifice bunts and had a .394 on-base percentage for the year.
The senior center fielder was fourth in runs scored (19), fourth in hits (32), third in doubles (three), fourth in average (.344), and second in stolen bases (five). Moreno drew seven bases on balls and drove in 10 runs. She started all 31 games for the Lady Cats and committed one error all year. She had a .471 on-base percentage.
Adairsville: Cassidy Howren, Mallorie Collum, Morgan Creel; Cartersville: Madison Floyd, Annie Holsomback, Kailah Rain; Cass: Ashlynn Russell, Camey Kirkland, Lynnsey Holifield; Excel: Emily Willingham, Allye Ingram, Stephanie Rosser, Abby Keefe; Woodland: Jessie Michaels, Cheyanne Burt.