August 19, 2018

Lady Braves stun highly-ranked East Coweta

(Franklin, GA) — The Lady Braves softball team notched one of the most impressive sports wins in school history Thursday by knocking off the No. 4 ranked team in the state’s highest classification.

Coach Matt Hornsby’s squad defeated East Coweta (Class AAAAAAA) 2-0 in Franklin behind a career best performance from sophomore pitcher Haley Bennett and a stellar defensive night for the Lady Brave defense that committed no errors.

Bennett’s remarkable complete game in which she allowed just four hits and three walks came versus one of the more potent line-ups in the state at any level. Of her 101 pitches 67 crossed the plate for strikes.

Sophomore Haley Bennett got a huge win over East Coweta Thursday in Franklin

Sophomore Haley Bennett pitched a complete game 2-0 shutout over East Coweta Thursday

“It feels so good to beat a team like that — I mean they had two D-1 pitchers and we just kept our hands clean,” said Bennett. “Then on the mound we just kept the ball away from where they could hit it and our defense was just awesome the whole game.”

The last win for the Lady Braves over the East Coweta program came in 2013.

Ally Harris and Hannah Sanders provided all the run production that would be needed with RBI hits in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Senior Aspen Barker continued her hot hitting with two hits and a stolen base while senior Hannah Stephens had the other Braves hit.

The big win was a huge stepping stone for a squad that lost three collegiate players to graduation last season. The team dropped a 3-1 game to a strong Northgate squad at home Tuesday afternoon. Stephens had two base hits for the Lady Braves in that match-up.

On the heels of that big win, the girls traveled north to Cherokee High School over the weekend for the Buccaneer Bash Invitational Tournament. The Lady Braves dropped game one to the hosting Warriors 9-2. Hannah Stephens continued her hot hitting driving in both Lady Brave runs.

In the nightcap of the doubleheader, a valiant comeback effort by the Lady Braves was cut short by the tournament time limit rule.

After taking an early 4-0 lead over Heritage Catoosa (Class AAAA), the Generals stormed back with 11 runs over the next three innings to take an 11-2 lead. The Lady Braves responded in a huge way in the top of the fourth behind the bats of Harris and fellow senior Hannah Sanders.

Senior Ally Harris blasted a grand slam HR at the Buccaneer Bash, the first of her career.

Senior Ally Harris blasted a grand slam HR at the Buccaneer Bash, the first of her career.

Harris blasted the first home run of her career with the bases loaded and Sanders followed with a solo shot, her fourth of the season, to bring the Lady Braves within two runs at 11-9.

The Generals would get two back in the bottom half of the fourth and time would run out after just four innings.

Harris was elated about her first long ball which her dad and another team parent retrieved from the swampy retention pond behind the left field fence after a lengthy search.

“It was so exciting I knew that their girl was throwing middle away and my approach was middle in so I just kept taking the strikes and balls until I finally found the pitch I was looking for,” said Harris after the game. “I am thankful for my dad and those guys going in that swamp and finding that ball for me so I can hang on to it forever.”

The Lady Braves (4-6,0-0) open the important Region 5-AA schedule tomorrow when they take on Temple at home. After hosting Lagrange on Wednesday, the girls travel Thursday to Callaway for another region rival tilt versus the Cavaliers.

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