‘Just waiting on the banner’

Cornerstone Christian notched another milestone in the school’s five-year history last week when its softball team attended the AISA state playoffs for the first time.

This followed another first &045; the Lady Chargers were the first team from the school to win an outright area championship, beating Coosa Valley’s Lady Rebels 14-1 to finish area play 9-1.

&uot;Obviously, everyone’s excited over what our team has accomplished this year,&uot; said head coach Jay Adams.

&uot;We’re just waiting on the banner to get here &045; the girls are ready to hang it in the gym.&uot;

The Lady Chargers won the title in grueling fashion, taking six of their nine area wins in an 11-day span in April.

&uot;I was glad we were winning, but I was really glad when it was over,&uot; said sophomore pitcher Celia Martin.

Assistant coach Courtney Lansford was also concerned, saying &uot;We wanted to rest Celia’s arm, but in a situation where every game matters so much, we just couldn’t afford to.&uot;

In the state tournament, Cornerstone lost to Ashford Academy 7-2 and South Montgomery 9-6.

&uot;It’s cliche, but I honestly think it was just nerves,&uot; Adams said.

Certainly statistics would seem to back him up. Cornerstone averaged 10 hits and nearly 11 runs per game in all 1A games this year.

At state they were able to come up with only eight runs and 12 hits in two games.

&uot;The girls were thrilled to be the first to go to state, but they were also a little awed by the whole experience.&uot;

The Lady Chargers graduate no seniors, though, and should be able to make another run at the tournament next year.

Returning will be team sparkplug Allison Youngblood (overall batting average .618), pitcher Celia Martin (140 strikeouts), catcher Chesley Hall (.429 batting average), third baseman Marybeth Willis (.433 batting average), and left fielder Amy Cleveland (21 runs scored).

&uot;That’s a pretty good nucleus to build around,&uot; Adams said. &uot;The girls all say we’ll be back next year &045; I try to not get involved in that sort of thing.&uot; But he was smiling when he said it