Etowah

Etowah won the Region 5AAAAAAA title this season and is set up for 2021.

Etowah softball coach Victoria Carter said this year’s senior class should be considered among the best in program history.

The Lady Eagles fell short of qualifying for the state tournament with a 4-2 loss to Harrison on Wednesday in the third and deciding game of a three-game series in the state quarterfinals. After winning the first game of the series, Etowah fell short in the next two. It was the first time all season it had dropped back-to-back games.

Despite the abrupt postseason exit, the list of accomplishments for the seniors was impressive — two region championships, three state quarterfinal appearances, a third-place state finish and state runner-up.

“That’s something that I don’t think has been done here at Etowah and honestly I don’t know if it’s been done in Cherokee County by a single class in softball,” Carter said. “I told them they need to cherish that. They should be incredibly proud of what they’ve done to build a legacy of winning for our program.”

The senior class of six included Bella Adams, Abby Billings, Jordan Curtis, Kinsey Norton, Alaina Smith and Emma Yanes. Adams, Billings and Smith were named All-Region this season while Norton was named the Pitcher of the Year in Region 5AAAAAAA. Norton (Georgia Tech) and Smith (North Carolina State) are committed to play collegiately while Adams holds multiple offers.

The team should be poised to continue its run as one of the best programs in the state and Carter said the class of 2021 has been integral in continuing the standards for the program. Even in a year fraught with uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, Carter said this year’s senior class was the stabilizing force for the program.

“I’ve watched most of these girls play since they were in the junior league. It’s really a special group,” Carter said. “We talked about cherishing this because we were sitting there in the Elite Eight playing for a chance to go to the Final Four and in July we didn’t even know if we’d play one game.

“This group was always willing to go the extra mile and be flexible with everything we had going on this year. This was a season full of life lessons for a high school group. I’m just really proud to coach this group and proud to be a part of Etowah softball.”

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