Lady Rams softball has good year

COVINGTON - The Newton Lady Rams softball team had a few ups and downs this season but it was a decent season overall.

"Overall I am very pleased with the performance of our girls this season. With the rocky start we had I was pleasantly surprised by the way they came together and quickly stepped up their game to fill the positions that were vacated after last season," Newton coach Jason LaChappelle said.

The Lady Rams made it to the Class AAAAA sectional for five years in a row finishing the season fourth in their region.

In Region 2-AAAAA play, Newton had a couple of close losses against Union Grove (2-0, 3-1) and Greenbrier (1-0, 8-0), two teams that made it to the Elite Eight.

"We were able to stay in the top four of our region, that gets more and more competitive with each passing season," LaChappelle said.

In the Class AAAAA South Sectional playoffs, the Lady Rams were 2-2.

They lost to Houston County 8-0 before eliminating Jenkins (10-0) and Camden County (4-2).

Unfortunately, they were eliminated themselves in an 8-1 loss to East Coweta, who lost to Mill Creek in the state championship game.

Of the goals set by the Lady Rams this season, the one they did not reach was to advance further in the sectional.

"The one goal we didn't accomplish that I was looking to do this year was to go farther in the post season than we did last year," LaChappelle said.

They were 2-2 last year as well.

With only one graduating senior, Haleigh Higgins, the Newton coach is looking forward to next season with a more experienced team.

"With the experience gained this season I would expect the girls to step it up a notch or two next year and go farther in post season than we ever have," he said.

Most teams have players which tend play steady at their ability level while some perform worse with a few that tend to surpass all expectations during the season, LaChappelle really didn't have that this year.

"All of the ladies played much better than I thought," LaChappelle said. "Our success this season was a total team effort."

Manny Fils can be reached at manny.fils@