Two local softball players named to GACA all-star game

By Derrick Mahone


Two Southern Crescent players have been selected to participate in the annual Georgia Athletic Coaches Association all-star game this summer, and eight others were named to their respective classification all-state teams.

Julia Echols, who led Eagle's Landing Christian to its fourth straight Class A championship, will represent the North squad while Ola third baseman/outfielder Jordan Miller will play for the South squad. The all-star series is scheduled for June 9 at Heritage Park in Dalton. Schools that play in regions 1-4 have players on the South roster while teams in regions 5-8 represent the North squad.

Echols, who signed a scholarship with Georgia, played third base and catcher for the four-time state champion Chargers. In 36 games, she hit .520 with eight home runs and 45 RBI. She was also named to the first-team Class A all-state team. Echols will be the only player on either squad from a Class A school to participate in the GACA all-star series.

"It is a real nice honor and she certainly deserves it," ELCA coach Lacy McClendon said. "She worked hard and the team really got behind her. She is a real leader."

Miller, who was named Region 4-AAAA player of the year, hit .425 in 73 at-bats with three home runs. She also scored 25 runs and had a pair of triples with nine doubles.

In addition, ELCA swept the GACA Class A all-star choice awards with Echols being named player of the year and McClendon getting the coach of the year award.

Teammate Megan Betsa was named the classification pitcher of the year after compiling a 16-4 record with 257 strikeouts in 125 innings.

"I was definitely surprised about Megan, because she is just a freshman," McClendon said.

"It is a huge deal for her. We are definitely excited about next year."

Also named to the Class A all-state team from ELCA were junior Symone Ball, sophomore Michel Bell, junior Ellis Fields and senior Kacie Patterson.

"With this upcoming senior class getting some all-state credentials, it will be an exciting season," McClendon said. "I wish I could have gotten more players some recognition, but I guess winning a state title takes care of that."

Joining Miller on the AAAA all-state team from Ola were teammates Sam Maycock, a junior, sophomore Hunter Williamson and junior Madison Case.