November 20, 2017

Lady Braves trounce Bears en route to Sweet 16

(Franklin) — The Lady Braves flexed some top-seeded muscle at HHS Wednesday afternoon sweeping their way into the Sweet 16 of the GHSA State Playoffs with two dominant shutouts over the visiting Golden Bears of Holy Innocents, a private Region 6-AA high school from Atlanta.

Junior pitcher Jordan Watson pitched a no-hitter in an 8-0 win in game one (six innings) and she only allowed one base hit in game two which came during the bottom of the final inning as the Lady Braves rolled 15-0 in five innings.

Jordan Watson allowed only on hit to the Golden Bears in 11 innings Wednesday as the Lady Braves advanced to the Sweet 16

Jordan Watson allowed only one hit in 11 innings Wednesday as the Lady Braves advanced to the Sweet 16

Offensively, coach Matt Hornsby’s lineup produced from top to bottom with several players having big days at the plate.

Sophomore Madison Whitehead was one of the leaders at the dish with four hits and four RBI’s including a double in game one. Hannah Stephens also continued her hot hitting with four hits and five total RBI’s including four in game one.

Senior Cali Harrod and junior Anna Shelnutt hit back-to-back homers in the top of the fifth in game two to secure the Lady Braves a spot in next week’s Sweet 16. Harrod also roped two doubles and a triple in the doubleheader.

Every player on the Lady Braves’ team contributed at least one hit or RBI.

The Lady Braves now advance to round two where they will host the winner of Armuchee and Oglethorpe County in another best-of-three series beginning with a doubleheader next Wednesday (times TBA).

The Armuchee/Oglethorpe will begin Thursday after being postponed due to weather.

“Our girls made some really good adjustments at the plate after somewhat of a slow start in the first couple of innings of game one. Once we made their pitcher come down into our zone consistently our girls never really looked back,” said Hornsby after the game.

“It is awesome being able to make adjustments that quick which shows what kind of players we have. It is not like the top of our line-up was struggling or anything but even when our top girls were hitting them right at people, the bottom of the order was picking them up like it was nothing. It is hard to measure how that helps our momentum going into the next round.”

It was a big day for Region 5-AA in round one as three of the four teams advanced. Bowdon knocked off Lovett and Bremen took down Pace Academy with doubleheader sweeps. Manchester was the lone 5-AA victim falling to Wesleyan.

Other squads advancing to the Class AA Sweet 16 yesterday were Jeff Davis, Bleckley County, Harlem, Gordon Lee, Social Circle, Swainsboro, Berrien County, Bacon County, and Screven County.

Bowdon (#3 seed) and Screven County (#3 seed) were the only two lower seeds to pull upsets. Vidalia and Seminole County split and will face a deciding game three today while Union County and Darlington were also postponed until today.

The top eight teams that win next week’s round two match-ups will advance to the state tournament in Columbus October 30-November 1.

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