Last Thursday, the Lady Rebels softball team traveled to Gainesville, Georgia, to take on the Chestatee War Eagles. Both teams were looking to redeem themselves from the tough losses they endured their games prior to the matchup.
Fannin hit the field first where the War Eagles got an early lead. They started hitting the ball in all of the right places and getting runs on the board. After Chestatee scored two runs, the Rebels got their third out and started swinging the bats. Fannin had a hard time putting the ball into play on offense until the third inning where they put two runs on the board and tied the game.
The Lady War Eagles continued the trend at the bottom of the fourth inning by adding two more runs to the score where the Lady Rebels were unable to do the same. Fannin started to make errors on defense, leading Chestatee to continue to add runs to the board. The War Eagles continued to advance their lead while the Rebels were struggling to score more runs. Fannin was having a hard time putting the ball into play and when they did, it went right to the defense.
Chestatee outhit Fannin 6-4 while the Lady Rebels made 5 errors throughout the game on defense while the Lady War Eagles made two. Although Fannin struggled with their fielding and hitting, they pitched a good game from the mound. Lady Rebel senior, Amelia Sneed, pitched six innings and struck out seven batters. The War Eagles finished the game with a 5-2 victory over the Rebels, putting Fannin’s overall record at 0-4.
This past Tuesday, the Lady Rebels softball team traveled to Gordon Central to take on the Warriors. The Rebels were looking to redeem themselves from their one point loss the weekend before.
The Rebels started off hot on offense when Maleah Stepp stepped up to bat and hit an out of the park homerun. Stepp has been an asset to the team on offense so far in the season by leading the team in hits and runs batted in. Right after Stepp touched home, Kayleigh Russell stepped up to the plate for Fannin and hit another out of the park homerun. Russell has been right behind Stepp on the leaders board for hits and runs batted in the last few games. Each of them had three hits for the night where Stepp had four runs batted in and Russell had three.
After the second inning, the Rebels had an 8-2 lead over the Warriors. Fannin got too confident in their early lead and started to slip up on defense. Although the Rebels out hit the Warriors 14 to 10, they had 12 errors on defense while Gordon had 5. The Warriors came back after the fifth inning where they pulled ahead 11-9.
Fannin found their fire again and started to make a comeback in the sixth inning where they scored three runs. The Rebels managed to tie the game 12-12 going into the seventh inning. Gordon was able to hold Fannin on defense at the top of the seventh inning, not allowing any runs to score. When Fannin hit the field, they hoped to have three consecutive outs in hopes of putting the game into an extra inning where they could make a comeback. With a runner on base, Gordon Central hits a ball deep center field, sending the runner home. After putting up a good fight, the Rebels endured a heartbreaking 13-12 loss to the Gordon Central Warriors.
Over the weekend, the Lady Rebels officially kicked off their softball season with a double header. The team competed against Gordon Central and Pace Academy where they showed great promise, however could not walk away with a win.
The Lady Rebels took the field first to take on Gordon Central to start off the day. The Rebels started off hot on defense with a double play. With a runner on first, Amelia Sneed threw her third strike from the mound as the girl on first base was stealing second and Eryn Mealer threw her out from behind the plate to get the second out. Sneed had a great game from the circle where she pitched all seven innings and struck out four batters. Each team was holding the other on defense until the sixth inning when Gordon Central put their first run on the board. The Rebels had a great game defensively from the start, however it took Fannin until about the sixth inning to get the bats hot. First baseman for the Lady Rebels, Kayleigh Russell, started things off for Fannin at the bottom of the sixth when she hit the ball deep center field and advanced to second base. Unfortunately, the third out was called before Russell could make it home, leaving Gordon in the lead. Fannin allowed one more run on defense and rallied when it came their turn to hit. Mealer was the lead off batter in the bottom of the seventh inning to get things going for Fannin. The Lady Rebel hit a bomb to left field, advancing to third base. Lady Rebel Senior, Alicia Jones, approached the plate next and hit Mealer home to put their first run on the board. The sudden burst of hitting created a chain reaction which led to Fannin loading the bases. With two outs, Gordon Central threw the perfect pitch that was hit in just the right place to be caught and get their third out. Despite Fannin out-hitting Gordon seven to four, the Warriors walked out on top with a score of 2-1.
After Fannin had a break and Gordon took on Pace Academy, it was the Rebels turn to play Pace. In the game before, Pace Academy had won 7-3 against Gordon Central with their dominant hitting.
Fannin was off to a slow start while Pace was just getting warmed up after their victory over Gordon Central. Pace wasted no time getting runs on the board when they scored two in the first inning from Fannin’s defensive errors. Amelia Sneed started off on the mound and pitched for one inning before junior, Kaelyn Hensley, came in and pitched the rest. Even when the Rebels were down by five runs in the second inning, they fought and made their comeback in the sixth. Senior, Maleah Stepp, led the Rebels in hits at the plate where she went 3-for-4. With the Rebels being only two runs behind Pace, they hit the field with the resilience they had been missing the whole game. The Rebels were able to hold Pace on defense and tried their best to make a comeback with their last at bat. Fannin put one more run on the board and was ready to score the tying run when Pace got their third out. Although the Lady Rebels had an amazing comeback and outhit Pace 13 to 9, they let one run get in their way of victory.
As school is approaching, so is the Lady Rebels softball season. As many of Fannin’s sports teams are having to do, the softball team spent the summer adjusting to the coaching staff changes that were thrown their way.
Alan Collis was a previous assistant coach for the Lady Rebels three years ago, but has returned this season as the head coach of the softball team. When asking coach Collis about his thoughts on the upcoming season, he said, “We are so excited for this season. We are excited to take off and get started to see how much we improve each week. Our girls are working hard each practice to help the team improve. We want to be in the playoffs. We want to be one of the final four teams and I believe we can do that if we improve each week. In order to achieve this, we cannot take any steps back. We have to keep striving everyday to raise the bar and to get better than the day before. If we do that, we are going to be sitting exactly where this coaching staff wants to be as one of the top four teams in the end to make it to the state playoffs.”
The Lady Rebels practiced through the hot months of June and July so that the team can reach this goal at the end of the season. The coaches not only taught the players the fundamentals of the game, but also the importance of becoming and playing like a team. When they weren’t on the field practicing, the Rebels really focused on team bonding. Whether it was putting on team devotionals or hiking Amicalola Falls to receive their uniforms, the Rebels spent as much time as they could growing closer together.
Travis Stone has been a coach at Fannin County High School for years now. Just like the players, Stone has also had to adjust to the coaching changes that have come his way. The past few years, Stone has been an assistant coach for baseball. This year however, he has been changed to the head coach for baseball, and an assistant coach for softball. “I’m looking forward to watching the girls improve and work hard each day. We have to get one percent better everyday. If we get one percent better each day, we will be right where we need to be to reach our goal. Infield and outfield have been improving over the summer. We are working hard on making better throws, transferring the ball well, getting an idea of where we go with the ball, pitching, and backing up the pitcher. If we can continue to get better at these small aspects each day, we will be a great team,” coach Stone shared with the FYN sports team.
The Lady Rebels officially kick off their season on Saturday, August 4. They will play a double header at home where they will take on Gordon Central at 11am and Pace Academy at 3pm. Come out and support your Lady Rebels!
Fannin County Recreation Department is now taking registrations for Spring 2018-Baseball, Softball and Volleyball.
Registration for Baseball includes ages 3-14, Softball includes ages 7-14 and Volleyball includes grades 2-8.
Please call the Rec Department at 706-946-1130 or visit us online at fannincountyrecdept.org for further information.
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