May 16, 2021

Lady Braves power past Lions in opener

The 2019 Lady Braves stand for the National Anthem prior to Tuesday’s opening day 3-1 win at Central of Carrollton

(Carrollton, GA) — The Lady Braves traveled north to Carrollton Tuesday afternoon for their regular season opener and scored a solid 3-1 win over the Central Lady Lions.

Senior Katelyn Jiles led the way in the circle allowing just a single earned run, six hits and a walk as she tossed the complete game. She struck out three Lady Lions and came through with some big outs in high pressure situations.

The biggest jam came in the bottom half of the sixth as Central loaded the bases with just one out before Jiles coaxed ground ball outs from the next two batters.

At the plate, it was the heart of the line-up that did most of the damage with sophomores Mackenzie White and Janiyah Strong each blasting solo homers.  White’s shot tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the fourth while Strong’s sixth inning bomb gave the visiting Lady Braves a 2-1 advantage.

Pinch hitter Alyssa Hall put the ball in play and after a defensive miscue ended up at second base to lead off the top of the seventh. Pinch runner Christina Garcia crossed the plate for an important insurance run. Senior Tori Caldwell moved Garcia to third base with a ground out and she scored on a passed ball.

Coach Matt Hornsby says the at bat from Caldwell was an important one even if it doesn’t exactly show up in the box score that way.

“Tori’s at bat may not get noticed that much but we told her we didn’t mind if she made an out but we needed her to move the runner and she got it to the right side of the infield which was just what we needed,” said Hornsby after the game.

The seventh year coach of the Lady Braves was also very pleased with the strong performance from his No. 1 pitcher.

“We thought Katelyn threw it very well in the first 3-4 innings before her velocity dropped off a bit in the fifth — but after we talked to her about it she was right back to topping it out in the last two innings,” added Hornsby. “I’m glad that she is really stepping forward and taking control of her team as a senior that is just what we need.”

Hornsby was also glad to see White and Strong come through with the big solo homers.

“It was good to see that if they make mistakes we can square them up. I thought their pitcher did a great job today and any time we can get a win over a great program like Central then we are obviously pleased.”

White led the way with two hits on the day while Strong, Emma Helton, Abigail Lathrop, and Beth Taylor each added one.

The Lady Braves are back in action today as they host Villa Rica (5:30 PM) in the first home contest of the season.

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