BY Chris Goltermann
Kelley Lynch’s selections as Region 2-7A Player and Pitcher of the Year for the 2018 season may have been as involuntary a process as breathing.
But after staking her claim on 18 school records among both single season and career marks this fall at East Coweta High, Lynch also had plenty of company as both the Lady Indians and region runner-up Newnan again dominated this year’s all-region team.
Lynch’s school record-setting efforts over her senior year had her re-writing the book both among pitching and offensive accolades. Last year’s Georgia Gatorade Player of the Year set new ECHS single-season marks for record (17-0), ERA (0.27) and strikeouts (236), while also allowing the fewest earned runs (4) and hits (18).
At the plate, Lynch set a new single-season record for walks drawn with 31, as well as on-base percentage (.584).
She ends her varsity career at East Coweta as its most decorated pitcher with three career records among win-percentage (52-6, .900), ERA (0.57) and strikeouts (746), in addition to leaving with new career batting records for Lady Indians among average (.443), hits (181), doubles (47), home runs (29), walks (57) and RBIs (159).
Lynch has made official visits to at least four Division I schools this fall — Florida, Washington, Florida State and Auburn — with the early national signing day coming on Wednesday, Nov. 14. She recently decommitted from Auburn.
In all, 11 players from East Coweta’s Class 7A state championship roster, which went 32-2 a year after a perfect 36-0 finish, were named to all-region first or second teams.
The Lady Indians had 10 representatives among first teamers, while Newnan had five.
East Coweta’s selections included junior first-baseman Ansley Gunter, whose 25 walks and .583 on-base percentage put her right behind Lynch in second among single-season school records.
The Lady Indians drew 139 walks in 2018, more than any other season.
Among infielders, second baseman Madison Lecuona and catcher Caroline Lively also were honored on the first team for strong years defensively. Ansley Duffey, who acted as a designated player and backup first-baseman was also a first-team honoree.
East Coweta also monopolized pitching honorees on the 2-7A Team with junior Aniston Wright and freshman Jaliyah Holmes joining Lynch as first-team selections. Holmes tied a school record with three saves during her varsity debut.
Newnan had four infielders along with pitcher/infielder Ansley Houston named to the first-team. Houston was in the circle for all but nine innings of the Lady Cougars’ 2018 season, which ended in the Class 7A Sweet 16.
Houston was joined by sophomore K.K .Madrey, senior Danielle Curlee and sophomore Alex Williams among infielders that played at least two and as many as three positions in a versatile Newnan lineup.
Spark plug Hailey Bloom, the Lady Cougars’ starting center-fielder and No. 2 hitter, also received a first-team selection along with East Coweta’s starting trio of outfielders — senior Carmen Prior, junior Lilly Agan and sophomore Kenadie Cooper.
This year’s All-Region 2-7A Second Team included East Coweta shortstop/catcher Ashleigh Griffin.