North Murray High School Mountaineers

August 9, 2013

Prep softball preview: Champs reloaded

(Continued)

Northwest Whitfield

With Boyd and the rest of the senior class gone from the title-winning team, it might be easy to focus on what the Lady Bruins lose.

Northwest coach Jason Brooker is happier thinking about what his team returns for his second season leading the program.

Six starters return, and plenty of others got a lot of playing time as Northwest marched through state competition. All six of the returning seniors were members of The Daily Citizen’s All-Area Softball Team last season.

“We have a real strong and experienced senior class with six that have played a lot since they were freshmen,” Brooker said. “They have a lot of varsity experience. Games like baseball and softball are so mental, and the mental experience of those girls is probably more valuable than the physical.”

Catcher Bayli Cruse, first baseman Mallory Souther, shortstop Ashley Conner and outfielders Hannah Godfrey, Colbie Thomas and Macy Weeks all return. Weeks and Souther were the only players out of that group to hit worse than .400, but Souther had 17 extra-base hits and Weeks might be considered the best defensive outfielder in the area.

Based on last year’s numbers, the Lady Bruins shouldn’t lose a step at the plate, but Brooker insists the team will not just be an offensive juggernaut.

“From the outside, that is easy to say, and I would say there are going to be games where we have to score more runs, but BriLeigh Baggett is a good pitcher and had a strong year,” Brooker said of the junior who will step into the void left in the circle by Boyd. “You aren’t going to hit it every game, but I expect us to be stronger offensively.”

As a sophomore, Baggett finished with a 7-1 record with a 1.36 ERA in 46 1/3 innings. She showed power with 41 strikeouts and averaged less than a walk every two innings.

With the pitching and the offense, the Lady Bruins have the potential to remain one of the top teams in Class 4A.

“We don’t want to be overconfident, but I guess I would say that we are not intimidated by any means,” Brooker said. “We can’t just show up and put our uniforms on and expect people to roll over. We have to continue to play.”

Northwest opens its season Monday at Coahulla Creek with a 5:55 p.m. first pitch.

Text Only
North Murray High School Mountaineers
  • s-CCHS softball 8.jpg On a mission

    The local girls who visited the Dominican Republic last week on a mission trip through Score International tell a matching story.
    Toward the end of a visit to Pasitos de Jesus, a girls orphanage in Boca Chica, the children began singing the Gospel song “Mighty to Save” to their visitors.
    “It sent chills down your spine,” said Kala Franks, a rising senior at Coahulla Creek High School. “I felt they were ministering to me rather than us ministering to them.”

    June 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • NW softball state championship file 1 mlh.jpg In the lineup again

    When Northwest Whitfield repeated as the Georgia High School Association Class 4A softball state champion last fall, that appeared to be the last time the majority of the Lady Bruins’ senior class would be teammates on the diamond.
    Now, thanks to the Stump on Sports All-Star Softball Classic, five of those six seniors will reunite to play together one more time.

    June 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Junior golf: Hicks able to hang for final round

    Despite giving up a few strokes from Monday’s opening round of 4-over-par 76, Dalton’s Landon Hicks was the only local competitor to advance to the third round of the Georgia Junior Championships.

    June 18, 2014

  • Isabel Salinas 5 mlh.jpg All-Area Spring Female Team: Salinas hoping things keep getting better and better with age

    Isabel Salinas’ freshman season for Southeast Whitfield High School’s track and field team wasn’t up to her standards, and she really isn’t sure why it ended up that way in 2013. It could have been her injuries. It could have been not being in proper shape.
    One thing Salinas, nicknamed “Izzy” by friends and coaches, does know is that her sophomore year went a lot better.

    June 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • North Murray-Newton2.jpg N. Murray second at Cam Newton

    Members of the North Murray High School football team and coaching staff pose with Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, standing center, after finishing second in the third annual Cam Newton Foundation 7 on 7 Football Tournament at North Cobb High School in Acworth. The Mountaineers will advance to face other regional tournamentwinners at the Charlotte (N.C.) Championship Tournament on July 10-12. Northwest Whitfield also competed in the tournament with linebacker Clay Phillips (not pictured) being selected as a Tournament All-Star.

    June 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • poty seth.jpg All-Area Baseball Team and Player of the Year

    As a freshman at Northwest Whitfield High School, Seth Pierce came out of nowhere and was as dominant a pitcher as the area had. Finishing his “rookie” season with the Bruins, the left-handed Pierce led the area with nine victories — he also had one save — and showed overpowering dominance with a 9-3 record and 89 strikeouts in 73 1/3 innings. He finished his first season on the hill in Tunnel Hill with a 1.71 ERA while allowing 61 hits and 23 walks. Those numbers were also recorded against competition in a higher classification as the Bruins were playing Class 4A ball when the state had just five classifications. His performance earned him honors as 2012 The Daily Citizen All-Area Baseball Player of the Year.

    May 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • daltongirls.JPG Dalton girls finish second in Class 4A

    In the Class 4A girls state golf tournament last year, the Dalton High School team finished third at Nob North Golf Course. Monday, playing in the state championship at Waynesboro Country Club, the Lady Catamounts finished second by just two strokes.
    “There is just one more place left to win,” Dalton coach Nancy Hallsworth said. “They have the time ahead of them to do it.”

    May 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • N. Murray cheer duo headed to DSC

    CHATSWORTH — For North Murray cheerleader Tori Stainton, earning a spot on Dalton State College’s competition squad is the fulfillment of a long process. Classmate Stacia Baker went for a tryout on a whim and found her own spot with the Roadrunners.

    May 9, 2014

  • Phillips signing at NM 3 mlh.jpg No shortage of highlights this year for Phillips

    CHATSWORTH — When Grace Phillips finished posing for photos of her signing a volleyball scholarship with Andrew College on Monday in North Murray High School’s library, a crowd of supporters gathered for the ceremony put their hands together.
    It wasn’t the first time she’d heard applause during a memorable and achievement-filled senior year.

    May 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • Good day sends Dalton boys to state golf tourney

    With a spot in the Class 4A state tournament on the line, Dalton High School’s golf team put together one of its best rounds this season on a course coach Hunter Johnston said was as demanding as any the Catamounts had played this year.

    May 6, 2014