October 22, 2020

Senior moments spark softball win over rival Callaway

(Franklin, GA) — The Lady Braves celebrated their three senior players in a Senior Night ceremony prior to Tuesday night’s big Region 5-AA home clash versus Callaway.

Fittingly, it was those same three players that provided the late fireworks to push the squad to an important 9-1 region win.

Seniors Beth Taylor, Alyssa Hall, and Sydney Goddard delivered back-to-back-to-back extra base hits and a fourth straight run-scoring base-hit from Zekylah Boyd ended the game via the run rule in the bottom half of the fifth inning.

The big blow came from the senior DP Alyssa Hall in the form of her first homer of the season that brought Taylor across the plate during a four-run fifth inning.

Taylor and Goddard both doubled into the gaps, and Goddard scored the game clinching run on Boyd’s line drive that ended it. Boyd had three hits in the game and catcher Mackenzie White drove home two.

Janiyah Strong also blasted her first homer of the season and finished the game with two walks and two RBI’s.

Strong has been the Lady Braves top hitter this season and currently sports a .460 batting average from the No. 2 hole behind Emma Helton and in front of Mackenzie White who leads the squad in homers with eight.

Courtney Cannon is also having a big season at the plate with a .431 average through the first 18 games.

The Lady Braves have relied on pitching and defense to a large extent this season and in fact, entering Tuesday’s game, White was the only player on the team that had homered.

On the mound, freshman LilyRae Fulford earned her team high 12th win of the season after allowing just a single earned run and six hits in her five innings of work.

Control and a strong defense behind her was once again the key to success for Fulford as she threw just 50 pitches with 40 (80%) finding the strike zone. Fulford has issued just six walks in 85+ innings of work this season.

Lady Brave seniors (L-R): Alyssa Hall, Sydney Goddard, and Beth Taylor with Coach Gavin Porter (L) and head coach Matt Hornsby (R) after Tuesday’s 9-1 Senior Night win over Callaway

The Lady Braves will return to action today as they travel to East Coweta to face the Indians who are currently the top ranked team in all of Georgia regardless of school size and the third ranked team nationally according to MaxPreps.

“It was good to see us hitting the ball well with runners in scoring position today as opposed to the way we did when we played at Callaway,” said Coach Matt Hornsby after the game.

“It was pretty dang awesome right there to have three seniors go double, bomb, double there in the last inning. I don’t think we’ve ever had that type of thing happen before on senior night — it was really special. And of course LilyRae threw really good today and we played good defense.”

Hornsby says his squad is eager for the chance to play the vaunted Indians on the road today.

“We have been playing well or better than we were 2-3 weeks ago to where it will be a really good measuring stick for us to see if we can continue to compete with one of the best teams not just in the state but across the southeast — we are very pumped up for the opportunity.”

The Lady Braves have two remaining Region 5-AA contests including a trip to Temple Thursday and a home rematch versus Haralson County next Tuesday.

The Lady Braves control their own destiny in gaining home field advantage for the Region 5-AA tourney which ultimately determines the important state playoff seedings.

Class AA State Playoff seedings may carry even more impact this year as there will now be three best-of-three playoff rounds as compared to only two in years past.

Only the top four teams in the state will advance to the two day 2020 State Championship tournament in Columbus on October 30-31.

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