August 14, 2018

Talented Brave Trio Sign College Scholarships

(Franklin, GA) — A dynamic trio of Heard County softball players officially signed college scholarships yesterday morning in a ceremony held at Heard High School.

Wednesday marked the start of the Early Signing Period for the 2016 class for NCAA sports including basketball, wrestling, swimming and diving, lacrosse, volleyball, rowing, gymnastics, softball, golf, hockey, baseball and tennis.

Seniors Johanna Beyer, Anna Shelnutt, and Jordan Watson were joined by a host of family, coaches, friends and other supporters as they each took that big step by signing official letters of intent to the respective universities of their choosing.

The three girls were an enormous part of a senior class that achieved more than any other class in Heard County Athletics history earmarked by the first GHSA team State Championship in school history in 2014, along with three other trips to the Elite-8 including two third place finishes in 2012 and 2013.

Pictured above at fall signing day (Back L-R): HHHS Athletic Director Shane Lasseter, Coach Ryan Duffey, Head Coach Matt Hornsby, Coach Trent Bianco, HHS Principal Rodney Kay (Front L-R): Jordan Watson, Johanna Beyer, Anna Shelnutt

Pictured above at fall signing day (Back L-R): HHS Athletic Director Shane Lasseter, Coach Ryan Duffey, Head Coach Matt Hornsby, Coach Trent Bianco, HHS Principal Rodney Kay (Front L-R): Jordan Watson, Johanna Beyer, Anna Shelnutt (Photo: Gail Barber)

Outfielder Johanna Beyer signed to play with the Cougars of Columbus State University, who may be getting one of the steals of this year’s signing class. Beyer had her best season in 2015 both offensively and defensively.

At the plate, Beyer batted .433 with 45 hits, seven home runs, five doubles, two triples, 28 RBI’s, and 16 stolen bases. Her stellar glove play in center field will be difficult to replace as the Lady Braves take the field in 2016 without her.

4-year starting catcher Anna Shelnutt will be another impossible player to replace for head coach Matt Hornsby next season.

Shelnutt will join Cali Harrod at Florida State University and her skills could earn her a starting spot with the Seminoles sooner rather than later.

Shelnutt’s 2015 campaign was highlighted by her shattering of the school home run record with 13. 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 seemingly impossible.

Rounding out the trio is Jordan Watson who is headed to Michigan State University to play for the Lady Spartans. Watson’s career accomplishments both offensively and on the pitcher’s mound will likely never be touched as she leaves Heard County High School as the owner of virtually every pitching record.

Despite missing a substantial number of starts with an injury in 2015, Watson still finished with a 17-4 record, and ERA of 1.38, and 129 strikeouts in just 121.33 innings and only 29 walks allowed.

Often overshadowed by her pitching, Watson’s hitting was also college caliber. In the injury shortened season she still managed five homers, five doubles, and 27 RBI’s at the plate.

The battery of Shelnutt and Watson will be sorely missed as the Lady Braves take the field with a new pitcher-catcher combo next season for the first time since 2011.

Each of the girls will have time to adjust to college life before official college softball games begin for them in the spring of 2017.

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