March 2, 2021

Stage set for important region softball game Tuesday in Franklin

(Franklin, GA) — The Heard County Lady Brave softball team fell 6-4 to the visiting Lamar County Trojans Thursday in Franklin.

The first region loss of the year for Coach Matt Hornsby’s squad adds even more significance to a home clash this Tuesday with Bremen where the winner will earn home-field advantage for the Region 5-AA Tournament on October 3.

The Lady Braves and Trojans both hit the ball well Thursday with the teams combining for 17 hits. The Lady Braves had 10 total hits and were led by three players with multiple hits.

Z Boyd at the plate versus Lamar County Thursday

Mackenzie White went 3-for-4 with a double and one RBI. Emma Helton drove home two with her two hits including a double while Beth Taylor and Z Boyd each had two base hits.

Katelyn Jiles started and pitched 4 and 2/3 innings before being relieved by Brionna Costello and Caroline Jones. Jiles allowed six runs but only four earned to the strong Trojan line-up.

Senior Brittany Graley got the start at third base with Janiyah Strong sidelined with a knee injury suffered in a 4-3 win over Newnan at the University of West Georgia Sunday.

Strong blasted the game winning homer in the top of the seventh inning for the big win over the Class AAAAAAA Cougars. The girls also shut down fellow Class AA Union County 8-0 on the same day at UWG.

Several Lady Braves have been leaders at the plate this season. Mackenzie White leads the team in several hitting categories including batting average (.578), homers (7), doubles (11), and base hits (37).

Shortstop Emma Helton has also put together some very impressive numbers including team highs in runs scored (27), stolen bases(13), and triples (3) while boasting a .477 batting average.

Strong leads the team in RBI’s (28) and walks (7) while batting .450.

Other players with high batting averages for the year include Beth Taylor (.439), Brittany Graley (.340), Hannah Holden (.322), Abigail Lathrop (.310), and Tori Caldwell (.326).

On the hill is has been the No. 1 hurler Katelyn Jiles leading the way all season long. Jiles is 12-3 on the season with a save. She has thrown the bulk of the innings (81) while walking just 11 hitters in 19 games with two of those being intentional. The senior shows impressive control with 717 of her 1041 pitches being strikes.

Senior Caroline Jones also sports a solid ERA of just 2.89 in her 26+ innings of work with three wins and 33 strikeouts.

Coach Hornsby knows his Lady Braves (16-5, 6-1 in Region 5-AA) are in for a battle when the Bremen Lady Blue Devils (16-8, 8-1) come to town Tuesday.

“Bremen is always tough and well-coached — they always play together,” says Hornsby.

The Lady Braves defeated Bremen 4-2 in extra innings at Bremen on September 5. It will also be senior night for the Lady Braves. The team travels to Columbus Monday for a make-up doubleheader at Jordan.

The team also faces a couple of really tough non-region games to close out the 2019 regular season next week as they host East Coweta Wednesday and then host Central of Carrollton on Thursday.

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