Lumpkin County is finding something this year on the diamond that it hasn’t seen in quite a few years. Yes, the program has made the state playoffs in five of the last six years, but for quite some time, consistency has eluded the team.
“It is,” says Jones on if it’s fair to say that this year’s group is more consistent than in years past. “Not to downgrade any of the teams in the past, but we’ve put away some close games that in the past we made some mistakes are weren’t able to put it away.”
Lumpkin County went 12-16 last year and 14-14 the year prior, making state both times. But this year, the 13 wins before mid-September puts them in a spot they haven’t been in since 2012.
“Our team chemistry is really strong this year,” says senior utility player Izzy Kinard. “I feel like we really want to win more than we have in the past.”
“We just want it more,” says junior pitcher Natalie Robinson. “We’ve worked hard over the summer, worked hard in practice, got our reps in and did what it takes to win.”
In that 2012 season, the Lady Indians won 22 games on the way to an Elite 8 run to Columbus, and were ranked #9 in the state under then-head coach Jason Osborn.
This team does well in all aspects of the game, from hitting to pitching to defense. The offense is gelling to the tune of 126 runs, most in the region by a long shot. The 64 runs allowed by the pitching/defense also rates as second-best in 7-AAA.
“Our pitching and defense has been great,” says Jones on his balanced program. “Some nights our defense hasn’t been as good, and on our bats have gotten us out of that. One through nine I feel like we are very solid. The bottom of our lineup has been just as effective as the top.”
The Lady Indians now set their sites on a September 13 (Thursday) matchup against region leaders East Hall. A win for Lumpkin could put it in the driver’s seat to take the top seed in the region as it looks to the state playoffs.
“We stay grounded because we know who’s in our region,” says Kinard. “We know what to expect, but at the same time, anything can happen.”
The Lady Indians will keep that mentality as they go into the final stretch of the regular season and into the playoffs.