September 25, 2018

Lady Braves hang on for big win at Lamar County

(Barnesville, GA) — The Lady Braves (17-9, 8-0) closed out the regular season Thursday with a crucial 7-5 win over a scrappy Lamar County squad in Barnesville to earn home field advantage for the Region 5-AA tournament which will ultimately decide the GHSA Class AA State Playoff seedings.

The Lady Trojans (14-9-1, 5-2) fought back from a 7-0 deficit late in the game in front of a raucous Senior Night crowd, but left the tying runs in scoring position as the game ended on a fly ball to senior Lady Brave center fielder Ally Harris.

It was an odd ending to the game as Lady Brave pitcher Haley Bennett was actually trying to intentionally walk the Trojans’ top hitter Lexi Head to load the bases with runners already at second and third with two outs. Head reached out to try and make contact on the 3-0 outside pitch.

Senior Aspen Barker

Senior Aspen Barker

Bennett pitched the complete game for the Lady Braves to earn the win.

A 7-0 lead for the Lady Braves evaporated quickly after a big inning from the home team in the bottom of the sixth that was fueled by a solo homer from freshman Cayla Bishop to make it 7-1.

Five Trojans would cross the plate in the bottom of the sixth.

The Lady Braves jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first on a lead-off triple by Aspen barker and run scoring singles from Alyssa Cosper and Hannah Stephens.

Hannah Holden added a nice sacrifice bunt in the inning as well.

Coach Matt Hornsby’s offensive line-up struck again with three crossing the plate in the top of the fourth inning.

Barker and freshman catcher Brittany Graley had key hits in the inning. The speed of freshman Tori Caldwell led to a defensive miscue and two of the three runs scored in the inning.

An Ally Harris double in the top of the sixth inning scored what would end up being the two game winning runs.

The Lady Brave defense played very well in the game including a nice catch by Tori Caldwell who got the start in right field and a sparkling double play turned by Alyssa Cosper on a line drive to left field withe a runner in scoring position in the bottom of the fourth.

Graley gunned down a runner trying to steal second base in the bottom of the third.

Hornsby was pleased to see his team battle to an undefeated record (8-0) in Region 5-AA.

“Our girls did a very good job of getting to their pitcher while we had the chances because I thought late in the game she was doing a good job of pitching and not just throwing, “said Hornsby after the game.

“Haley was moving the ball in and out for us and thanks to that big lead we were able to trade outs for runs late in the game which helped us out a lot. Our defense was also on point today. “

Coach Hornsby was also especially pleased to see his senior class get to host the Region tourney in front of the home fans.

“I’ve always caught grief in past years about not playing enough home games. We wanted this senior class to be able to play in front of our home crowd as much as possible so this is big for us to be able to host the region tournament next weekend and hopefully the first two rounds of state.”

The Region 5-AA tournament takes place next Saturday, October 8 at Heard High School. The Lady Braves will battle the No. 4 seed Temple while the Trojans will take on Callaway with the winners facing off in the region title game.

The tournament will also determine the all important state playoff seedings for Region 5-AA which will take on Region 7-AA in the first round of state. Game times for the region tournament are still to be determined. The top eight teams in the state will travel to Columbus for the state tournament.

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