Following a record-setting season, the ECI Lady Dawgs held their softball banquet on Wednesday, April 21, at The Rustic Grill.
The Lady Dawgs finished their 2020 season with a 27-8 record, which is the most single season wins in program history. Twenty-seven wins may give some the idea that the Lady Dawgs faced weak competition, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. This team defeated top 10 opponents in Class AA, Class AAA, and Class AAAAA.
By the end of the season, four of their opponents had made it to the Sweet 16, three more to the Elite 8, and three to the Final 4. Finishing runner-up in arguably the toughest region in Class A, ECI faced a difficult task in its attempt to reach Columbus (where the Final 4 is played) for a consecutive year and a fourth time over the last seven seasons. In a best-of-three series, the Lady Dawgs would sweep Brooks County, Baconton Charter, and ACE Charter. (Baconton and ACE were champions of their respective regions.)
In Columbus, the Lady Dawgs fell to Gordon Lee, in pursuit of their eighth straight title, and region foe Bryan county.
For this historic season, the following region awards were presented:
Charla Clifton was named to the first all-state team, and she was also dubbed the region’s Pitcher of the Year. Kelsey Harper received the region’s Defensive Player of the Year award.
Additionally, Clifton, Harper, Mattie Grimm, Taylor Radford, and Kelly Joseph were named to the first all-region team.
Shayla Stephenson, Macy Canady, Lily Robertson, Jesely Snellgrove, and Sullee Boddiford were named second all-region.
Team awards given at the banquet included: Harper being named Offensive MVP, Clifton being named Defensive MVP, and Boddiford being named Most Improved. Radford, Briana Rich, and Semya Williams received the Coaches’ Award. Joseph received the Program Award.
The coaches would also like to congratulate the senior class, which includes Rich, Radford, Grimm, Snellgrove, Joseph, and Jaci Martin. Their list of accomplishments over their career includes: a record of 87-37, most single season wins (27), three region championships, one region runner-up finish, three trips to Columbus, two Elite 8 appearances, one Final 4 appearance, and being the winningest senior class in program history.