The Southside Lady Southerners enjoyed great success in the 2022 spring softball season including a conference title.

NASHVILLE — Southside’s stellar season came to an end at the hands of Bauxite in a 5-3 loss during the first round of the 4A State Softball Tournament on Thursday.

The Lady Southerners finished the season with a 21-9 record as co-champs of the 4A-3 Conference under first-year head coach Bo Gould, who was a longtime assistant with the program before taking over this spring. Southside also got everyone’s attention in late April when they knocked off defending state champions Morrilton in a comeback thriller, but the Miners were able to dampen the fuse on Southside’s attempt at a late comeback on Thursday.

“I felt like we played well enough to win a ballgame,” Gould said. “It just didn’t go our way in the end. The defense was solid – we didn’t have any errors. Grace really hit her spots. We were able to keep their good players off balance, but they beat us with their left hand.”

It was the final game as a Southerner for pitcher Grace Lawellin, as well as Lundyn Foree, Lexie Dale, Camry Sutton, Breanna Rea, Ayleaha Leonard and catcher Krislynn Duncan.

Southside trailed 4-1 entering the top of the sixth inning when Foree started things off with a bunt single, and scored off a double from Lawellin. Dale then singled to score Lawellin, and advanced all the way to third on Duncan’s bunt to put the tying run in position before Bauxite was able to retire the side.

The Miners added a run in the bottom of the sixth and shut down Southside’s final turn in the seventh.

“They got a couple of key hits early in the game that I believe were the difference,” Gould said. “We just kind of ran out of time there. We had good defense and good pitching, and some girls stepped up at the plate who had been struggling. It was just that timely hit we were missing.”

As for the legacy left by departing seniors Lawellen, Foree and company, Gould said their impact on the program will be felt for some time to come.

“We were able to do things that we haven’t done in a long time here at Southside,” Gould said. “One-hundred percent because of our seniors, what they mean to our program, the foundation they have set for the younger girls. We will continue to benefit from that long after they are gone. We were able to knock off quality opponents. Lots and lots of firsts with this group. I told them that every year, only one team is able to end the year happy.”

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