CHICKAMAUGA, Ga. — There are a lot of layers to the GHSA softball season, but some of those layers hold a little more weight than others.
The second half of the regular season in Region 6-AAA started this week, and LaFayette had a chance to distance itself from fellow league heavyweight Gordon Lee on Thursday night. Having won the teams' earlier matchup, a victory would have essentially given the Lady Ramblers a three-game edge in the standings.
That, however, didn't happen as the host Lady Trojans rallied to win 10-5 after trailing 5-4, tying LaFayette atop the stout region.
Gordon Lee (16-4, 7-2), which led 4-0 after three innings before the Lady Ramblers (13-4, 7-2) responded, tied the game with a single run in the fifth and used home runs from Kate Chambers, McCartney Angel and Gracie Helton to break it open with a five-run sixth.
"At this point — and our region has seen so many close games — this was a huge win for us to get revenge from losing earlier to them," said Gordon Lee coach Dana Mull, whose program is in its first season in Class AAA but owns 11 state championships in its history, with all but one of those in the past 12 years.
"Every region game from this point is very important," Mull continued, "and you can't take any games off."
Dallas Wagoner and Tenslee Wilson had two-run hits in the second and third innings, respectively, to give Gordon Lee the early edge, but Olivia Free's two-run homer sparked a LaFayette rally over the next two innings that included an RBI double from Autumn Wells and Free's run-scoring double.
Gordon Lee's Chloee Fryar, who was 4-for-4, singled to lead off the bottom of the fifth and later scored the tying run on Abby Logan's sacrifice fly. Logan, who came on in relief of starter Sydney Garrett in the fourth inning, shut out the Lady Ramblers in the sixth, helping set up the winning rally.
"Holding them in the sixth inning got the momentum rolling back for us, and then we caught fire in the sixth inning," Mull said.
Chambers led off Gordon Lee's half of the sixth with a home run, Angel followed two outs later with another solo shot and Chambers added insurance with a three-run homer moments after that.
"They are a great team, so adding those extra runs were huge," Mull said. "Our hitters are starting to get comfortable, and to me it's always about peaking at the right time. In the first half of the season, we weren't hitting like we are capable of."
Free led LaFayette with three hits and three RBIs, with Raven Yancy adding two hits and Olivia Acuff scoring two runs.
Contact Lindsey Young at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @youngsports22.