August 19, 2019

Middle Lady Braves edge Bowdon

Janiyah Strong (#17) had a big day at the plate in Thursday's win over Bowdon

Janiyah Strong (#17) had a big day at the plate in Thursday’s win over Bowdon

(Bowdon, GA) — The Heard County Middle School softball team notched their first win of the young season Thursday by knocking off a strong Bowdon Middle Red Devilette squad 4-3 on the road.

Beth Taylor drove home Janiyah Strong for the go-ahead run as the Lady Braves were able to break a 3-3 tie in the top of the fifth inning.

The game-winning run came after the Red Devilettes rallied from an early 3-1 deficit to tie the game in the bottom of the third.

The Lady Braves (1-2) relied on stellar defense and solid pitching to close out the win. Southpaw pitcher Dara O’Neal pitched all six innings in the circle for head coach Gavin Porter to earn the win.

Strong had a big day at the plate going 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI in addition to scoring two runs.

Abigail Lathrop also had a productive day at the plate with a long double and an RBI ground-out. She also reached on a walk. Emily Shelnutt had a double in the first inning.

The Lady Braves jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first and added one in the third before Bowdon tied the game with two in the bottom of the third.

A couple of nice defensive plays keyed the win including a nice catch near the fence by Lathrop at first base and a nice put out of a would be base-stealer by catcher Shelby Oldham late in the game.

Center fielder Hermonie Garza hauled in two of the final three outs of the game in the bottom of the sixth. Kayleigh Sumner started and played good defense in left field.

Dara O'neal pitched a compete game to earn the Lady Braves a 4-3 win over rival Bowdon

Dara O’neal pitched a compete game to earn her team a 4-3 win over rival Bowdon

Coach Porter was pleased with the bounce back effort of his girls after a couple of early season losses to Haralson County and Mt. Zion.

“The girls played great defense today,” said Porter after the game.

“After taking one on the chin at Mt. Zion Wednesday and not playing with the energy we needed the girls came out today and did a great job of being in the game from the first pitch until the last inning. It was a whole team effort today.”

Even though O’Neal pitched well on Thursday, Porter knows he does have the luxury of some important depth at that position.

“Dara is our number one pitcher because she has been our most consistent, but we also have Emily Head, Brianna Hill, and Makayla Jiles ready to take the ball at any time. We have a good group of girls this year.”

Rose Langley pitched well for the Devilettes in the loss and her sister Madalyn Langley robbed a potential Lady Brave hit with a nice defensive gem at second base.

The Bowdon Middle School softball team is coached by former Brave Chad Brown.

The Middle Lady Braves return to action at HCMS Tuesday where they will host rival Bremen.

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