July 20, 2018

Pair of Lady Braves compete at GACA All-Star Classic

(Rome, GA) — A pair of local softball standouts got to close their high school careers with two bonus wins last week.

Heard County’s Anna Shelnutt and Johanna Beyer each played on Wednesday in the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association All-Star Softball Classic at Alto Park in Rome, and the duo helped the North Team to a doubleheader sweep of the South.

The North opened the day with a 7-6 victory in Game 1 thanks to four runs in the final two innings to rally for the win.

Shelnutt started both games at catcher and went 3-for-6 with a triple and two RBI’s. Beyer saw time in the outfield and scored a run on Shelnutt’s triple after drawing a walk in game one.

Anna Shelnutt (L) and Johanna Beyer (R) at last week's GACA All-Star game in Rome, GA

Anna Shelnutt (L) and Johanna Beyer (R) at last week’s GACA All-Star game in Rome, GA

In Game 2, the North Team wasted no time getting the upper hand, scoring five runs in the first to immediately take control.

They added on two more in the third, one in the fourth and two in the sixth.

The South rallied to make it competitive, scoring seven runs over the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to pull within three, but that was as close as they got in the 10-7 North win.

The North squad was coached by Paul Pierce from Mill Creek.

Shelnutt and Beyer said it was nice to finish off the experience at the GACA All-Star Classic with a sweep. The pair graduated from HHS on May 20.

The players selected from all over the State reported to Rome on Monday and took part in practices, activities and competitions over the three-day experience. The group selected featured some of the top players in Georgia.

“It was amazing to be surrounded by so much talent and girls with so much ability today,” said Beyer after the game.

Beyer, a Columbus State Cougar signee, completed her senior season last fall batting .433 with 45 hits, seven home runs, five doubles, two triples, 28 RBI’s, and 16 stolen bases. She was also a standout defensively in center field.

Shelnutt is headed to Florida State University in the fall where she will join former Heard teammate Cali Harrod with the Noles. Anna was thankful for her last experience in a Lady Brave uniform.

“It was just an honor to be a part of this team today,” Shelnutt said after the doubleheader. “It was some of the best girls I have ever played with — all were number one on their high school teams and it makes me feel good to know that Coach Hornsby has so much pride in me to nominate me for this team.”

Anna said the pitching was tough and it felt good to have such a solid game at the plate. She also saw some rare time at the shortstop position late in the game.

“I was just trying to make contact and play the game. I was just swinging for hits — some of these girls were really good pitchers — they moved the ball and spun the ball really well.”

Shelnutt’s 2015 campaign was highlighted by her shattering of the school home run record with 13 dingers. She batted .446 with 41 base hits, 36 RBI’s, five doubles, and an astounding .533 average with runners in scoring position. Class AA base runners will be glad to see her off to college as her arm made stolen bases very difficult to attain.

Anna will miss playing for the Lady Braves but is very excited for her future with the Seminoles.

“I will miss Heard County but I am so excited about moving down to FSU to play alongside Cali,” said Shelnutt.

Along with Coach Hornsby, a large contingent of Heard County friends and family were in attendance Wednesday to root on Anna and Johanna in the sweltering heat at Alto Park.

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