2005 Softball Article Archive – April


West Georgia struggles in Harrogate, loses two

Carrollton, Ga. – April 3, 2005 – Until the seventh inning of game one, West Georgia’s series with Lincoln Memorial looked promising. But the Lady Railsplitters scored two runs in the bottom of the inning for a 2-1 win and then took advantage of two UWG errors in game, handing the Braves an 8-0 loss.

West Georgia started off well, scoring the first run of the series in the first inning of game one. Mary Carlisle led off the game with a bunt single followed by a Ryan Cochran double. Jessica Sanders’ sacrifice fly brought Carlisle in for the Braves lone run of the afternoon.

LMU starter Brittany Walker kept the Braves off-balance after the first, allowing just four base-runners in the six innings. UWG starting pitcher Tara Gober was just as impressive, allowing just five hits in the first six innings of work.

But in the seventh, Judy Hornsby led off the inning with a home run, followed by Alisa Burk reaching on an error. Two batters later, Kristen Hutchinson singled up the middle, scoring Burk for the game-winner.

In the second game, the third inning proved to be the kicker, as the Braves committed two errors to go along with LMU’s four hits. The Lady Railsplitters scored seven runs in the inning for a commanding lead over West Georgia.

The losses drop the Braves to 17-13 on the season and 3-5 in the GSC East. West Georgia faces Albany State in Albany on Tuesday.

Braves bats wake up against Albany State

Albany, Ga. – April 5, 2005 – The West Georgia Braves traveled to Albany State Tuesday for a doubleheader with the Lady Rams. After a weekend that saw the Braves score just one run, West Georgia erupted in this outing, blasting Albany 11-3 in the first game. In game two, the Lady Rams made it more of a contest, but the Braves prevailed 5-4 in eight innings.

Mary Carlisle broke out of her slump straight out of the box, going 4-for-5 with two RBI and three runs scored. The sophomore had two triples on the day, bringing her Gulf South leading total to seven on the season. Her triples also tied her for the single-season West Georgia record, set by Dana Pujol in 1996.

Tara Gober went the distance in the contest, allowing three runs on six hits in the game.

Game two was a barnburner, as the Braves had to come back from a 3-1 deficit to tie the contest at three in the fourth. West Georgia put two on the board in extra innings to the Lady Rams’ one for the 5-4 win.

The Braves take on Florida Gulf Coast today at 1 p.m.

UWG runs into a buzzsaw in FGC

Carrollton, Ga. – April 6, 2005 – The West Georgia Braves ran into a great pitcher on Wednesday. Florida Gulf Coast threw pitcher Kelly Powe for 9.1 innings in two games against the Braves. Powe and the Eagles held West Georgia to just one run in the doubleheader, winning 9-0 and 6-1.

The lone bright spot for the Braves on the afternoon was senior center fielder Ryan Cochran. The Alpharetta native was 5-for-6 over the two games with a home run, her fifth of the season.

The Braves came out cold in the first game, as FGC scored all nine of its runs in the first and second innings of the afternoon. Susan Church had a shaky outing, walking four and giving up nine runs on seven hits in the game.

In game two, the Eagles bats continued to blister West Georgia’s pitching. Tara Gober had a shaky outing in the contest, allowing six runs on 11 hits in seven innings of work.

The Braves fall to 19-15 on the season. Tomorrow, West Georgia travels to Clark-Atlanta to make up a pair of games from earlier this season.

West Georgia loses two in Florence

Carrollton, Ga. – April 9, 2005 – The Braves were within striking distance of sending North Alabama to a loss. Instead, with one swing of the bat in the seventh, Jessica Liddy ended that thought at the Lions took game one 5-3. Game two also went UNA’s way, a 4-0 win for the Lions.

The Braves and Lions traded blows in game one, as UWG had nine hits in the contest and Norht Alabama colllected 10. West Georgia scored all its runs int the fifth and sixth to tie the game at three heading to the seventh.

In the bottom of the seventh, West Georgia starter Tara Gober allowed the UNA leadoff hitter to reach base on a bunt single. Two batters later, Liddy connected for the walk-off home run.

In game two, it was all UNA behind the solid pitching of Elliott, who pitched seven innings of three-hit ball in the contest.

Braves swept by North Alabama

Florence, AL – April 10, 2005 – Things have changed a lot in a year. Last season, the West Georgia Braves took 2-of-3 from North Alabama in Carrollton. Sunday, the Lions completed a three-game sweep with a 13-5 win and made it four in a row over the Braves with a 4-0 win in the nightcap.

West Georgia pounded out 17 hits in the two games, but the powerful UNA lineup bettered that number with 25 hits on the afternoon.

Senior outfielder Mariann Davis was on a tear in the weekend, getting a hit in all four games. Davis had three hits in Sunday’s game to lead to Braves’ offensive.

West Georgia falls to 19-19 on the season and 3-9 in Gulf South Conference play with the GSC Crossover coming up this weekend.

Kennesaw too strong for West Georgia

Carrollton, Ga. – April 12, 2005 – The West Georgia Braves came out of the gate fast in both games Tuesday, but the powerful Kennesaw State lineup got the better of the Braves in both games, winning 4-2 in game one and 9-2 in the nightcap.

After UWG starter Tara Gober set the Lady Owls down in the first, the Braves came to the plate hot. First came a single from Mary Carlisle, followed by a double off the bat of Ryan Cochran. Carlisle scored on a ground-out by Katie Reddick and Adrienne Clay nearly parked the next pitch. Kelley Cowart made an incredible catch on the play, saving a home run, but the sacrifice allowed Cochran to score. The Braves ended the first with a 2-0 lead.

Kennesaw answered with three runs in the second, then added another run in the fifth inning for the final outcome. The Braves threatened again in the third, but could not break through KSU starter Lisa Lamb’s pitches.

Carlisle was 2-for-3 in the game with a run scored to lead the Braves’ attack. Gober pitched seven innings, allowing four runs on eight hits while striking out three. The freshman pitcher did not walk a single batter.

Game two started out in similar fashion, with Carlisle singling to lead off the Braves’ half of the first. Five batters later, with the bases loaded and two outs, Jessie Wise came through big with a single up the middle for a 1-0 lead. The Lady Owls answered with nine runs over the next four innings to take a commmanding 9-2 lead.

Clay and Jamie Van Haltern were the offensive sparks in the second contest. Van Haltern was 2-for-3 with an RBI and Clay was 1-for-1 with a run scored. Clay reached base in every at-bat in the second contest.

The Braves fall to 19-21 on the season with a trip to the Gulf South Conference Crossover this weekend.

Braves snap losing streak with win over Ouachita

Decatur, AL – April 14, 2005 – The West Georgia Braves snapped an eight-game losing streak Thursday night on day one of the Gulf South Conference Crossover. The Braves used a dominating pitching performance from Tara Gober and a four-run fifth inning to secure the 4-0 win.

The Braves and Lady TIgers were locked in a pitcher’s duel for the first four innings, as Gober shut down OBU, allowing just four baserunners in that span. Likewise Ouachita starter Lisa White kept West Georgia off-balance, giving up just three base hits.

But Amy King led off the bottom of the fifth with a walk to start the Braves’ big inning. Mary Carlisle moved King over with a sacrifice bunt, followed by a Ryan Cochran single to center field, scoring the first run of the contest.

Three batters later, with the bases loaded, Jessica Sanders doubled to right-center, scoring both Katie Reddick and Adrienne Clay to give West Georgia a commanding 3-0 lead. Jessie Wise followed suit with a single to complete the scoring.

It was all Gober would need, as the freshman hurler sat the next six batters down in order to give the Braves the win.

West Georgia faces Henderson State at 12:00 PM, tomorrow in their second game of the Crossover.

UWG falls in pair of slugfests

Carrollton, Ga. – April 15, 2005 – West Georgia found itself in the middle of a pair of slugfests Friday at the Gulf South Conference Crossover, losing 8-7 to Henderson State in the first game of the day and 8-7 to Southern Arkansas in the nightcap.

In the first game, Henderson used the longball to upend the Braves, hitting three dingers in the contest. West Georgia countered with Adrienne Clay’s solo shot.

Against Southern Arkansas, the Braves were engaged in a see-saw battle, building a 4-0 lead over the first three innings. SAU returned the favor in the third and fourth innings with a three-spot in each for a 6-4 lead.

Mary Carlisle blasted her sixth homer of the season in the top of the fifth inning to give the Braves a 7-6 lead. But the Lady Riders’ Lindsey Haas belted a two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth to seal the Braves’ fate.

West Georgia faces three opponents tomorrow, starting with Arkansas Tech at 1 p.m. The Braves play Delta State at 5 p.m. followed by a nightcap with Central Arkansas at 7 p.m. tomorrow evening.

A crazy day three at the GSC Crossover

Decatur, AL – April 16, 2005 – A pair of losses still sting from earlier in the day Saturday, but it all feels better when a team ends the night with a win. The West Georgia Braves erased a 10-9 deficit Saturday evening to beat Central Arkansas 12-11 in eight innings.

The game was a statstical nightmare, with the two teams combining for 23 runs on 29 hits and 12 errors. But with the Braves trailing 11-10 in the bottom of the eighth with two outs and a runner on second and third, Amy Cochran stepped to the plate. The senior catcher, who had a run-scoring single in the seventh, hit a chopper to third base. UCA third baseman Kristen Coots bobbled the grounder and threw to first. Cochran beat the throw, scoring the tying run in Jessie Wise. But first baseman Marquita Smith couldn’t handle the high throw, and the ball got away from her. Determined to finish the game in this inning, Jessica Sanders took off for the plate from third base and slid in just in front of the tag, sending the Braves’ contingent into a frenzy.

Freshman Adrienne Clay was the hero of the entire afternoon, going 7-for-12 on the day with three home runs, four runs scored and five RBI.

The Braves were 1-2 on the day, losing 9-2 to Arkansas Tech in the opener and 11-6 in the middle contest to Delta State.

Lady Blazers spoil the show with day one sweep

Carrollton, Ga. – April 23, 2005 – The West Georgia Braves just weren’t able to take advantage of the mistakes Valdosta State made during Saturday’s doubleheader at Oil Park. The Braves fell 3-0 in nine innings in the opener and 11-9 in 10 innings in the nightcap.

Tara Gober was brilliant on the mound in game one, keeping the Lady Blazers off balance for 8 1/3 innings. But a Holly Willis home run in the top of the ninth followed by a flurry of hits ended up being the difference.

The Braves were decent offensively in game one, but couldn’t break through, leaving 12 runners on in the game. West Georgia had no runs on 10 hits in the contest.

Adrienne Clay was one of the few bright spots for the Braves at the plate, going 4-for-7 on the afternoon with a home run, three RBI and two walks. The freshman reached base seven times in the afternoon. Her nine home runs this season tie her for second all-time behind fellow freshman Jessica Sanders. Clay’s hits in both games gave her a 13-game hitting streak while Sanders is in the midst of an 11-game streak.

Her homer gave West Georgia its first lead of the afternoon in the bottom of the sixth. With Ryan Cochran on second andMary Carlisle on third, Clay blasted the ball over the right-center field fence to give the Braves an 8-7 lead.

After another UWG run came in, pitcher Kristen Howard need just three outs to get the split. But Caroline Cripe homered in the inning to tie the game at nine.

The two teams played to a standstill in extra innings until the tiebreaker rule came into effect. With a runner on second, VSU’s Meghann Williams laid down a perfect bunt for a single, giving the Lady Blazers runners at first and third with no outs.

Brooke Davis lofted a lazy fly ball into left field, but Amy King misplayed the ball, allowing the run to score with still no outs. The Lady Blazers pushed one more run across in the inning to seal the deal.

Gober received both losses for the Braves. For Valdosta, Kristen Lindsey came on in relief in both contest, collecting both wins on the day.

The Braves fall to 23-27 on the year and 7-14 in the Gulf South Conference, virtually knocking West Georgia out of post-season contention. The two teams finish the series Sunday at noon.

Valdosta completes three-game sweep

Carrollton, Ga. – April 24, 2005 – The Valdosta State Lady Blazers spoiled senior weekend for the West Georgia Braves Sunday, winning the finale 8-1 for a three-game sweep.

The Lady Blazers touched West Georgia starter Tara Gober for four runs in the first three innings while Elske Ten Hoope and Amanda Edwards kept the Braves’ bats in check the entire afternoon. West Georgia managed just one run on six hits in the contest, the run coming on a Mary Carlisle home run to lead off the bottom of the fourth.

The loss drops the Braves to 23-28 on the season and 7-15 in the Gulf South Conference East Division. West Georgia faces Columbus State Wednesday in Carrollton in a make-up contest from earlier this season.

Braves fall to Lincoln Memorial in season finale

Carrollton, Ga. – April 29, 2005 – The 2005 West Georgia softball season was filled up ups and downs, and ended on a down note Thursday with a 8-7 loss to Lincoln Memorial in Harrogate, Tenn. The game was a make-up from a rain-out earlier this season.

The Braves scored four runs in the top of the first on a grand slam by sophomore Jessie Wise. The blast was just her second of the season and gives her 10 iin her two-year career. Mary Carlisle, needing just one hit to break Jennifer Cagle’s record, reached on an error in the first inning, but failed to get a hit.Carlisle finishes the season tied with Cagle for the single-season hits record at 63. The sophomore now holds UWG records for hits (63, 2005), runs (47, 2005), triples (7, 2005) and doubles (18, 2005).

The 2005 season was full of record-breaking performances, headed by freshman Jessica Sanders’ 15 home runs. The former record of nine was Cagle’s as well, and was tied by another freshman, Adrienne Clay. Clay also broke the record for season slugging percentage with a .670 percentage. The walk-on from Suwanee wa a pleasant surprise all season long, winning the UWG batting title with a .375 average. The Braves’ record was set in 1990 by Barbara Berry at .376.

Freshman pitcher Tara Gober was the losing pitcher in Thursday’s contest, but finished the season at 13-15. Her 13 wins tie Missy Hobdy’s record from the 2004 season.

The Braves finish the season at 23-29 and 7-16 in the Gulf South Conference.

Four Braves earn All-GSC honors in 2005

Carrollton, Ga. – May 12, 2005 – The 2005 season did not go exactly as planned for the West Georgia Braves, as the team finished sixth in the GSC East Division. But for four Braves, a stellar season earned postseason accolades from the Gulf South Conference.

It was the most All-GSC players West Georgia has contributed in the 20-year history of softball at the college. Last year and 1986 had the previous high of three.

West Georgia had one First-Team player and three Second-Team players on the All-Conference teams, released Wednesday by conference officials. Freshman shortstop/2b Jessica Sanders, who batted .327 and belted a school single-season record 15 home runs, was the lone First-Team selection.

The old record was nine, set by Jennifer Cagle in the 2003 campaign. Sanders broke the record at mid-season and continued to climb as the season progressed. In addition, fellow freshman SS/2b Adrienne Clay earned Second-Team honors. The Suwanee native tied Cagle’s record later in the season, finishing with nine homers. She also broke the school record for slugging percentage with a .679 clip as well as leading the team in batting at .376.

Mary Carlisle was a First-Team selection in 2004, and followed up with Second-Team honors in 2005. The sophomore third-baseman batted .362 in her second season in the league, 70 points higher than her freshman year. She belted eight homers and tied Becky Duarte’s school record of seven triples in 2005.

The final recipient is senior center-fielder Ryan Cochran, who earned Second-Team accolades in her final year as a Brave. The Alpharetta native batted .323 on the season with four homers and a team-high 11 doubles.

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