March 18, 2019

Ferocious Lady Braves overpower Lady Trojans

(Franklin, GA) — The Lady Braves made a statement on Tuesday to remind all of the teams in Region 5-AA that the road to the Region 5-AA crown indeed still runs through Franklin.

Senior Hannah Stephens ignited the Lady Braves to a 6-1 home win over region foe Lamar County with a first inning 3-run bomb, the first homer of her varsity career. Stephens would add a double and a single to finish her day 3-for-3 with four RBI’s.

Despite the huge offensive showing from Stephens, it was a total team effort in all facets of the game that really shined through as the 2016 Lady Brave squad seems to be sprinting away from the shadow of past accomplishments and forging a new identity of their own as a gritty and determined young squad.

Senior Hannah Stephens had a huge day Tuesday with her first home and four RBI's.

Senior Hannah Stephens had a huge day Tuesday with her first home and four RBI’s.

Sophomore Haley Bennett was again strong on the mound in a big game tossing the complete seven inning game while allowing just one unearned run, four hits and a walk.

Bennett struck out five Trojan hitters.

“Haley is a bulldog in the circle and we feel like every time she takes that ball to the mound that we are going to win,” said Coach Matt Hornsby after the game.

Arguably the most important part of Tuesday’s win was the stellar defensive play of the Lady Braves, especially by young catcher Brittany Graley.

Graley had three outstanding defensive plays during the game including two during the top half of the fourth inning.

The freshman catcher made a nice diving play on a short pop-up and another great catch as she barreled into the un-padded portion of the brick wall behind home plate.

“Defensively, we played great all the way through,” Hornsby said. “The girls did a great job of executing what we work on in practice every single day.”

Alyssa Cosper also made a huge play on a ball off the fence to turn a sure Trojan double into just a single late in the game.

One of the most exciting offensive plays of the game came when speedy sophomore Kaitlyn Baldwin circled all the bases after a bunt and an errant throw by the Trojans in the bottom of the fourth.

Sophomore Kaitlyn Baldwin had two hits in Tuesday's win

Sophomore Kaitlyn Baldwin had two hits in Tuesday’s win

Baldwin and designated player Anna Cosper each had two hits in the game.

The Lady Braves were clicking on all cylinders in one of the most important games of the year in terms of playoff seedings.

The win gives the Lady Braves (11-7, 3-0) a huge edge in earning home-field advantage for the Region 5-AA tourney on October 8, but they will still need to take care of business against the very athletic Trojans (10-7-1, 2-1) one more time on September 29 in Barnesville.

“That was just awesome today,” said Hornsby. “We always talk about getting to really good pitchers as soon as we can. Hannah Stephens could not have hit a bigger homer in her entire life up to this point and that was just a heck of a job by our entire line-up.”

The Lady Braves travel to Troup County today before returning to Region 5-AA competition next week. They will travel to Temple on Tuesday and host Callaway on Thursday at HHS. Both games start at 5:30 PM.

For more information on the Lady Braves visit Heard County Braves softball on Facebook.

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