November 2, 2023
Prince Softball Wins First State Championship in School History
The Prince Avenue Christian School 2023 Varsity Softball team made school history when they won the GHSA Single A – Division 1 State Championship – the first State Championship in program history.
After an undefeated regular season (30-0) and winning back-to-back Region Championships, the Wolverines advanced to the Elite Eight in Columbus. After losing a second-round game by 1 run to defending champions Heard County, the Lady Wolverines fought their way back from the loser’s bracket playing 22 innings in three games on the final day of the tournament and defeating Mt. Vernon in two games (5-4, and 6-5) for the historic championship win.
Head Coach Donnie Byrom describes his players, coaches, and parents as the best in the state who learned perseverance through a tough 30-game schedule. “They had so much fight – never giving up and always rallying as a team. Every player understood and performed her role at the highest level. “
Prince Athletic Director Richard Ricketts says that he could not be any prouder of this group. “After years of great teams and near misses, this team found a way to get it done. They were able to overcome difficulties and obstacles, which is a credit to our players and coaches.”
The Wolverines also recently received impressive All-Region recognition. Coach Byrom was awarded All-Region Coach of the Year; senior Audrey Vandagriff was awarded All-Region Player of the Year; and senior Bailey Throckmorton was awarded All-Region Pitcher of the Year. The following players were named First Team All-Region: Berkeley Dunn, Ella Osborne, Mollie Prince, Kylee Simmons, and Taylor Thomas. The following players were named to Second Team All-Region: Rachel Biggs, and AK McMichael.
A Foundation of Excellence
The championship win is especially significant for one assistant coach in particular. Prince parent Cheryl Murray has coached the Wolverines for 13 years and has experienced the growth and development of the program firsthand. She says this team was special from day one. “The seniors led a cohesive team bond like no other team I’ve coached. They trusted the process, embraced the work, and came every day focused and driven to do something big this year. Each and every one of these girls embodied a team-first attitude.”
But Coach Murray also acknowledges the foundational contributions of all the teams before this one. “The groundwork for this State Championship was laid by the Prince softball alumnae. Each team continued to build on a tradition of excellence, edging us closer and closer to this goal. They all share in this championship!”