November 20, 2017

Lady Braves battle nationally-ranked Wolves

(Kennesaw, GA) — Head coach Matt Hornsby knew his varsity softball squad would face a huge challenge when he added the Buford Lady Wolves to the schedule several months ago and that was indeed just what he was aiming for, a chance for his girls to face the best competition out there.

The Lady Braves traveled to Kennesaw State University Saturday afternoon to take on the Lady Wolves and walked off the field with a 7-2 loss on the scoreboard but also walked off the field with a great learning experience after taking on the dominant Wolves who have basically owned the state of Georgia winning consecutive state championships for the last seven years in two different classifications.

It is no surprise the Wolves have achieved high rankings nationally considering they boast an NCAA division one committed player at almost every position.

Despite the tall order, the Lady Braves hung right in the game for the majority of the afternoon with the score remaining tied at 1-1 headed to the sixth inning.

The Lady Braves kept the game tight thanks in large part to the solid work of Heard County’s own division one prospect junior Jordan Watson who will be playing for Michigan State University in 2016.

Watson challenged the murderer’s row of Buford batters all day long before the Wolves finally broke it open with four runs in the top of the sixth inning.

Junior Anna Shelnutt at the plate versus Buford Saturday afternoon. Shelnutt had a big game-tying RBI double in the first inning.

Junior Anna Shelnutt at the plate versus Buford Saturday afternoon. Shelnutt had a big game-tying RBI double in the first inning.

Ironically, the Wolves did the majority of their damage with perfectly placed bunts that no defense could seemingly prevent.

The Lady Braves offense did manage some solid contact off of the Lady Wolves senior starter Bria Bush who is committed to the University of Tennessee.

In the bottom of the first after Buford had taken a 1-0 lead Anna Shelnutt answered the bell roping an RBI double down the left field line that scored Cali Harrod and tied the game at 1-1.

Offensively, Harrod, Alexis Raines, Madison Whitehead, and Johanna Beyer also managed hits off of Bush. The key blow for the Wolves came in the top of the sixth on a two-run triple by Breanna Gutierrez.

“Buford executed in that sixth inning when it was tied 1-1 and they laid down a couple of bunts that there is just no defense for. We had our squeeze defense on and they still executed,” Hornsby said after the game.

“They also hit a couple of dumpers here and there and they took advantage of their opportunities with base runners in scoring position while we just couldn’t find the holes at times when we had runners at second and third. At the same time we had some great flashes as well,” Hornsby added.

“You know they score right away in the top of the first and our girls come back and put one on the board against a girl who has been their number one pitcher since she was a freshman and has three state titles under her belt. We put this schedule together to get us ready for the playoffs. We need to see that kind of pitching and we need to figure out how to beat those kind of teams to get ready for state.”

The junior varsity Lady Braves also made the trip to Kennesaw to battle the Lady Wolves JV squad. They competed hard for five innings dropping a 5-1 decision.

The Lady Braves return to action Monday at Callaway in make-up games that were washed out last week and they then look for redemption from an early season loss when they travel to East Coweta on Wednesday.

On tap for next weekend is a trip to Carrollton for the Trojan Slam tournament Friday and Saturday.

 

 

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