(Franklin, GA) — A scorching start at the plate for Heard County sophomore catcher Mackenzie White and a second solid performance in as many days by senior starting pitcher Katelyn Jiles has the Lady Braves sitting at 2-0 on the young softball season.
Sophomore Mackenzie White is 6-for-8 with 3 homers in two games this week
White drove home Emma Helton with the game-winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning as the Lady Braves won 6-5 in their home opener.
The double by White was part of a 4-for-5 performance that also included her second and third homers of the season.
Jiles pitched all eight innings for the Lady Braves scattering seven hits and throwing just 88 pitches to earn her second win of the season.
Hannah Holden, Beth Taylor, and Abigail Lathrop also had nice days at the dish with each having multiple hit performances.
Holden went 3-for-4 with two stolen bases while Taylor went 2-for-4 with a single, double and two runs scored. Lathrop had two hits, a walk, and a stolen base.
Defensively, Taylor had a nice play early in the game gunning down a runner at first from right field on what would have been a base hit. Late in the game, White picked off an important runner at first base.
Emma Helton had a nice game from the lead-off spot with a base hit, two runs scored, and two stolen bases.
“Katelyn Jiles did an absolutely fantastic job against a team that can really hit. Villa Rica can always hit and always have good approaches at the plate,” said Hornsby after the walk-off victory. “We hadn’t planned on her pitching that long but her velocity never really fell off and she hit her spots all night. We normally wouldn’t send her back out for the eighth but she had only thrown 71 pitches at that point so how could you not?”
“It was good to see our bats come to life tonight. We were not hitting the ball well coming into this game” added Hornsby. “We won the game against Central yesterday because of pitching and defense but tonight our offense really stepped up and showed what we’ve expected them to be.”
The Lady Braves will face arguably their two most difficult games of the season tomorrow night when they travel to East Coweta High School to take on the No. 8 ranked team in Class 7A Hillgrove and the No. 1 ranked Class 7A team and defending state champion East Coweta.