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Lady Dogs on the prowl for a title

By: Scott McLendon

Brantley High School tucked two more wins under their belt by edging out Sweet Water 0-1 and trouncing Millry 7-0 as they seek yet another title for the collection.

Leanna Johnson sent 15 victims back to the dugout without a hit in th1-0 victory over Sweet Water. Gracie Free’s RBI was enough to seal the Bulldogs’ 47th victory of a stellar season.

“We, of course, are seeking a fourth straight championship,” said Cindy Hawthorne, head coach of Brantley High School’s softball team.

“We’ve had a lot of success and a lot of great players come through and make it possible for us to always compete at the state tournament so we’ve very fortunate and blessed.

“Our preparation pretty much stays the same throughout the year. We’ve continued off of what we started in 2014 and the focus has been really good. We come to work at practice each day and get done what we need to get done and they’ve done that.”

The 48th victory of the Bulldog season came as they dismantled Millry 7-0. This time Johnson was responsible for 13 strikeouts on the day.

Kassidy Wilcox’s solo homerun was a highlight of another impressive display by the Bulldogs. Emory Bush and Kayden Dunn had a pair of hits each to propel Brantley’s title hopes.

“The success of our team definitely comes from our hard work during the off season, our dedication during the season and our teamwork on the field,” said center Alex Wilcox. “We are taking the state tournament one game at a time and everyone is doing their part for the team to have the most success.

“Our teams’ long-term success has come from our work ethic and the mindset of never being satisfied with what we have already accomplished.”

The Brantley Bulldogs have accumulated plenty of laurels on which they could rest, but their desire drives them to continued success. This drive is evident due to the teams’ gaudy record of 48 wins and three losses.

“We’ve prepared the way we always do and we are ready for this shot again,” said coach Hawthorne. “Eight of our nine starters have parents who graduated from Brantley so it’s a tight-knit group and they play like that.

We know that we have our community and school behind us and it’s just become a family affair at the state tournament at the end of the school year. So we’re expecting another big crowd and we thank them for that.”

“We are honored to be able to represent our school and county at the state championship game in Montgomery,” said first baseman Olivia Jones. “There is a lot of hype about winning our fourth title, but we are focusing on winning one game at a time.

I feel that each girl has stepped up and is working harder that ever. Our team’s motto has always been ‘stay hungry.’ We are focused and hungry.”

Brantley will look to take its next step to that fourth consecutive title on May 18 when they’ll be pitted against a familiar opponent in Waterloo.