October 21, 2018

Hot hitting Lady Braves scorch Cavs

(Hogansville, GA) — The Lady Braves kicked off the Region 5-AA schedule with a bang Thursday afternoon at Callaway High School where they knocked off the hosting Lady Cavs 16-2 in four innings.

The Lady Braves (6-6, 1-0) pounded out 16 hits in route to the mercy rule road win. Hits and defensive miscues by the Cavs led to a nine run inning for Coach Matt Hornsby’s squad in the top of third inning to break it open.

Senior Hannah Stephens

Senior Hannah Stephens

Leading the way offensively were Hannah Stephens and Haley Bennett.

Stephens’ hot streak at the plate continued as she went 3-for-3 with a walk and two RBI’s.

The senior first baseman has been on a tear over the past two weeks with several multi-hit performances. A similar post-season hitting streak by Stephens keyed the 2014 state title run.

Bennett has been plugged into the line-up at second base when not pitching this week and it’s paid off with some solid offense. The sophomore was 3-for-4 versus the Cavs including a triple, two RBI’s and three runs scored.

This new look Lady Brave squad may not have as lofty of expectations as they did in recent years, but they still have all eyes firmly on another deep run in the playoffs.

“Our goal is to make it back to Columbus, but we understand that first we have to win our region and we know Lamar County is going to be tough,” said Stephens after Thursday’s game. “I’m just giving it all to God,” responded Stephens when asked about the team’s chances and her current hot hitting streak.

Senior Aspen Barker also had a nice game at the plate with two hits including a triple and a stolen base as did Kaitlyn Baldwin who had two hits, two RBI’s, a stolen base, and two runs scored. Baldwin’s hard work is being rewarded with more playing time in the outfield lately.

Senior Alyssa Cosper did not play Thursday and is currently listed as day-to-day after injuring her ankle.

Other Lady Braves with multiple hits were Ally Harris, Brittany Graley, and Hannah Sanders.

Graley had a nice double to deep center and played well behind the plate. The young freshman has done a nice job stepping into the large shoes of Anna Shelnutt. Graley had the play of the game on defense turning a nice double play on a pop up in the bottom of the second inning to squelch a Cav scoring threat.

Mallory Gallaway

Mallory Gallaway

Mallory Gallaway settled down after giving up two in the first to earn the win on the mound. She tossed three innings allowing just three hits and no walks.

Sydney Gay came on to pitch the last inning of the game for the second time this week.

While no pitcher has been able to establish themselves as the No. 1 starter that may be a good thing for the Lady Braves who have a deep staff of arms.

Haley Bennett, Katelyn Jiles, Gallaway, and Gay have all shown they have the confidence and talent to lead the defense.

Coach Hornsby definitely has more to think about than he did over the last four years when the ball was automatically handed to Jordan Watson to start every game.

The Lady Braves got another big non-region win over Lagrange at HHS Wednesday, outlasting the Grangers 9-1 in five innings.

The freshman Katelyn Jiles threw well on the mound scattering two hits and three walks over four innings to earn the win. Gay again pitched the final inning to close out the game.

Offensively, Hannah Sanders and Ally Harris both had homers for the second consecutive game. Sanders leads the team with five dingers and is chasing her season high of seven. Sanders had seven in both her sophomore and junior seasons.

After hitting her first career homer over the weekend, the hot-hitting Harris parked another to go along with two other single and two RBI’s.

Graley, Barker, Cosper, and Hannah Holden also each had two hits for the Lady Braves. Cosper and Harris also each had a stolen base.

The Lady Braves return to action in home region games this Wednesday and Thursday. The girls will host Temple on Wednesday and Jordan on Thursday at HHS. First pitch for both games is scheduled for 5:30 PM.

The Temple game was originally to be played on Tuesday but had to be postponed after the umpires were no shows.

Coach Ryan Duffey and the junior varsity Lady Braves have also been on a tear as of late. They knocked off Lagrange 4-0 at home Wednesday and defeated Troup 10-5 on the road Thursday.

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