(Bremen, GA) — For a second straight week the Lady Braves softball team went on the road and earned a hard-fought win over a region rival.
This time it took extra innings. The Class AA No. 2 ranked Lady Braves defeated the Class AA No. 6 Bremen Lady Blue Devils by a final score of 4-2 in eight innings.
Lady Brave sophomore shortstop Emma Helton (Photo: HCHS)
Coach Matt Hornsby’s squad had to battle back again from a deficit this time after trailing 1-0 through four innings.
The Lady Braves would manufacture two runs in the top of the fifth after a lead-off single from hot-hitting senior Brittany Graley and a walk to Z Boyd.
Tori Caldwell was next up to bat and laid down a nice sacrifice bunt to move Boyd and pinch runner Chasity Kates into scoring position for lead-off hitter Emma Helton.
Helton, a stalwart hitter at the top of the line-up, would come through again with a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 1-1.
An ensuing wild pitch would plate the go ahead run for the visiting Lady Braves.
The Lady Blue Devils did not back down however managing to tie the game at 2-2 and force extra innings.
The Lady Braves scored two in the top of the 8th and starting pitcher Katelyn Jiles would close the door in the bottom half to move the Lady Braves’ region record to 4-0 on the season.
Jiles was again vital in the circle tossing all eight innings while facing a strong Devil line-up. Jiles scattered six hits and walked just two (one intentionally) while striking out five. She threw 104 pitches in the sweltering heat to earn another crucial Region 5-AA win for her squad.
Graley, Helton, and Mackenzie White led the way offensively with two hits apiece. Hannah Holden and Janiyah Strong also each had a double.
Coach Hornsby was again pleased with the gritty effort even after having a few miscues.
“We love the fact that our girls can be tough enough to refuse to lose,” said Hornsby after Thursday’s game.
“Our whole motto this season is somebody’s gotta lost today but it doesn’t have to be us. We didn’t play our best on defense and definitely didn’t do our best base-running but at the same time Katelyn kept us in the game and we held on as long as we could and that’s what you have to do against a good team like Bremen. They are very well coached and execute very well on defense. Their pitcher is also a battler and she doesn’t miss many spots — she did a heck of a job for them today.”
The girls will now turn away from region play this weekend as they travel to Carrollton for the annual Trojan Slam tournament Friday and Saturday.
Hornsby expects to utilize a lot more of his roster versus the non-region opponents at what is traditionally a very good tournament.
“This weekend we expect to go 4-0 but whether we do or not we will see. But we do plan to get some other player back in the mix to get them going offensively. Caroline has been dealing with a wrist problem and has needed the rest but we expect both her and Briana to get some innings this weekend,” says Hornsby. “It will be a good test to see if we can bounce back and play five games in three days which is like a Columbus type situation.”
The Trojan Slam takes place at the East Carroll Complex. The Lady Braves will take on Flowery Branch at 5:00 PM today (Field 4) and then battle Class AA foe Chattooga at 8:30 PM (Field 1). On Saturday, the girls meet Hillgrove for the second time this season at 11:45 AM (Field 4) followed by a match-up with LFO at 3:15 PM (Field 1).