COLUMBUS, Ga. — The Ringgold softball express was finally derailed at the GHSA Championships, but not before a run of six consecutive wins following an opening loss. The 4-0 loss to Buford in the Class AAA title game loss — the Lady Wolves' fifth consecutive championship — only mildly dampened Ringgold's mood.
"We had a great run," coach Rachel Hodge said. "Losing that first game, we just wanted to give ourselves a shot. They fought hard and I'm so proud of the seniors. They did what they had to get here. I truly believe these are the two best teams in the state. They have so much heart and they're so strong, all 15 of them."
The Lady Tigers reached the title game with a 4-2 win over Central of Carroll in the morning, led by two RBIs from Brittany Portwood and two hits from Jessica Goldsmith. Against top-ranked Buford (32-3), they fell behind 3-0 in the third inning on Noah Suddeth's two-run homer.
Buford pitcher Bria Bush limited Ringgold to three singles and never allowed a runner past second base.
"I knew we could do it and that it would take a lot, but we got here," senior third baseman Ericka Bynum said. "It stinks finishing second, but I'm very proud of this team. We did everything we could to make the championship, and I'm very proud of what we've done."
Lindsey Young is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who started work at the Chattanooga News-Free Press 24 years ago. He covers the Northwest Georgia prep beat and NASCAR. Lindsey’s hometown is Ringgold, Ga., and he graduated from Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School. He received an associate’s degree from Dalton Junior College (now Dalton State) and a bachelor’s degree in communications from UTC. He has won several writing awards, including two Tennessee Sports ...