March 7, 2021

12U Lady Braves capture Dizzy Dean State Softball Championship!

The 2019 Dizzy Dean 12U State Softball Champion Lady Braves after Sunday’s 6-4 win over Murray County

(Carrollton, GA) — The Heard County Lady Braves softball team made history Sunday afternoon in Carrollton where they defeated Murray County 6-4 to become 12U Dizzy Dean State Softball Champions.

The squad became just the third team in Heard County Parks and Recreation history to win a state title and the first girls team to ever accomplish the lofty status.

Leading the way on the mound for the 12U Lady Braves was pitcher Kinley Smith who tossed a complete game allowing just four runs. Smith also had a nice day at the plate with two base hits.

Shortstop Lexi Lower had an outstanding all-around tournament both offensively and defensively to earn the State Tournament’s Most Valuable Player Award.

Jayden Boykin had a huge championship game with three hits including an exciting inside-the-park home run during a four-run top of the fourth inning that put the Lady Braves on top for good. the girls had trailed 2-1 and 3-2 earlier in the game.

Pitcher Kinley Smith and catcher Jayden Boykin

Boykin also showed some nice athleticism defensively on a diving catch of a pop up in the first inning.

Brailey Watkins, Chloe Cummings, and Maddie Denney shined as each had two base hits in the title game. Hannah Henry and Ariauna Brice also collected base hits for the Lady Braves versus Murray County.

Other strong contributors defensively and off the bench for the Championship team included Kimberley Rhone, Kanaria Pless, Dru Parmer, Ella Coleman, and Leanna McCormick.

Assistant coaches for Brice included Jena Brice-Martinez, Trent Parmer, Melanie Watkins, and Taffney McCormick.

The Lady Braves defeated Gordon County and Union County earlier in the weekend to earn the title game berth.

Each girl on the team received a championship trophy and a t-shirt along with a team trophy and a championship banner that will be displayed at HCPR.

Head coach Darrell Brice was beaming with pride as he talked about his girls after the game.

“We had just such a great group of hard-working girls this year — they just gave 100% in every game and every practice this season and I could not be prouder of their efforts,” said Brice after the game.

HCPR Director Kathy Scott was also on hand at the Carroll County Recreation Department Sunday for the big game as was Heard County High School varsity softball coach Matt Hornsby. Scott was very pleased and excited about the history making accomplishment.

State Tournament MVP Lexi Lower

“This is just an awesome team with awesome coaches and they played so well not to have had a district tournament. Thankfully they played in and won a big father’s day tourney a couple weeks ago at Thomaston which really helped them out in this situation,” said Scott.

“This is a solid group of girls that should carry over nicely to our middle and high school teams in the coming years.”

Heard County Parks and Recreation also received a special plaque named the tournament ‘Sportsmanship Award’ winner by Dizzy Dean organizers for the positive attitudes displayed the Heard County players, coaches, and most of the fans.

The previous two State Champions at HCPR were the 14U boys basketball team in 1982 and the 8U Boys basketball team in 2010.


  1. Arlene Whisenhunt says

    So proud of the Lady Braves; especially my granddaughter MVP Lexi Lower! All the girls did an outstanding job!

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