VARNELL — Coahulla Creek High School pitcher Sophia Voyles has had a secure softball future for a few years, but she’s making the most of a senior season once in question.
Voyles has been committed to pitch at Georgia Tech since the spring following her freshman campaign. With the outbreak of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) in the spring, the fall 2020 season was thrust into uncertainty before finally starting on time.
“It got further on in the summer, and I was really getting worried I wouldn’t have a senior season,” Voyles said. “I feel like I maybe took high school for granted. Now that we’ve had the opportunity, I’m really glad to have one last season with these girls.”
Now in the final stretch of her final high school season, Voyles is content to live in the moment before heading off to college. With just four games left in the 2020 regular season, Coahulla Creek is 16-3.
This season hasn’t been just a countdown to college for Voyles. She’s still making her mark at Coahulla Creek.
“I’m excited for Tech. I’m excited to go, but I don’t want my time with my girls to be over,” Voyles said.
Voyles has tallied six complete-game no-hitters in her 17 starts this season. She’s occasionally helped out by Coahulla Creek’s tendency to gain a big lead and will by the mercy rule, but a smattering of other one- and two-hit nights bolster Voyles’ senior campaign. She’s struck out 202 batters this season.
Perhaps one of Voyles’ most impressive performances in 2020 wasn’t a no-hitter, though she did pitch nine hitless innings.
In an Aug. 25 game against Sonoraville, Voyles allowed a first-inning hit, then settled into a 10-inning pitchers duel that eventually ended in a 1-0 Coahulla Creek victory.
Voyles threw 130 pitches on the evening, allowing just the one hit and one walk while striking out 19.
Voyles has made her contributions off the mound too. She’s tallied five home runs this season.
Voyles has her sights set on helping her team find success in the postseason. Voyles and the Lady Colts made the first round of the state playoffs last season, falling in a best-of-three series against eventual state runner-up Franklin County.
“We’re really focused on winning these last few games and getting into the postseason,” Voyles said. “From here on out, every game matters.”
Coahulla Creek has already had some regular-season tests in 2020, with two of the Lady Colts’ three losses this season coming at the hands of defending Class 3A state champion Ringgold. Coahulla Creek fell 5-1 on Aug. 18 and 7-3 on Sept. 10 to Ringgold.
That other loss came to Adairsville, a 1-0 defeat Aug. 24. Voyles and the Lady Colts already avenged that one, as she allowed just three hits and shut out Adairsville Tuesday night 6-0.
“After that first loss, we’ve really been focused on not taking anything for granted the rest of the season,” Voyles said after the Tuesday win. “I think we really learned that.”