Brenna Conley throws 400th strikeout, Lady Cats outscore Hardaway 27-1 in doubleheader

Published 10:04 pm Monday, September 18, 2023

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Senior Pitcher Brenna Conley threw her 400th varsity strikeout Monday. The milestone came in the first game of a doubleheader against Hardaway, where the Lady Cats swept the Hawks.  

Going into the game, Conley knew how many strikeouts she needed to reach 400. She said she was keeping track of how many she had thrown on the mound, and knew when she threw the 400th. The milestone was another step in her journey to continue to improve.

“I mean, nothing really,” Conley said when asked what she felt after throwing the milestone pitch.” I’ve worked towards it since I was a freshman. I’ve always heard of other people reaching four hundred, so I was like, ‘Oh well, it’s another one.’ I’m working for more.”

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Conley said she’s looking ahead to throwing her 500th strikeout.

Head coach Rex Wade has coached Conley since middle school and said he’s watched her put in the work to reach the milestone.

“She’s been with us [since seventh grade] and has worked tremendously hard at perfecting her position,” Wade said. “She amazes me with the drive that she has to be great. I’m just so proud of her and thankful that I got a chance to coach a ballplayer like that.”

The Lady Cats won the milestone game 8-0. Wade said his team is better than an eight-point win and that it was “one of those games where you can’t square the ball up.”

The Lady Cats won the second game of the doubleheader 19-1, their highest-scoring win of the season. 

Junior third-baseman Kylie Miller hit a two-run home run in the blowout victory, bringing her home run total to three on the season. 

“You’ve got options there,” Wade said. “She’s a great bunter, a great base-hit hitter, and she can hit the long ball… If she can get it in her head and stay focused, she’s outstanding.”

Miller ended the doubleheader with four hits, a 100% on-base percentage, four runs and five RBIs.

Monday’s wins put the Lady Cats at 9-0 in region play. Cairo is the only region team they have yet to face, and the Syrupmaids are also undefeated in the region. 

The two teams face each other next week, one game at Cairo and two in a doubleheader at Bainbridge. The winner of the best of three series will be crowned the Class AAAA Region 1 champions.  

The Lady Cats play Thomas County Central before “Cairo Week,” as Wade called it, and he’s treating that game as a warmup for the Syrupmaids.

“You’ve got to take the season one game at a time and make sure we’re focusing on the next game,” Wade said. “The schedule allows us to play TCC tomorrow at home and almost go through a run-through for Cairo. That’s where we’re at. We’ve talked about Cairo all season, but, in reality, tomorrow’s the next day, and we’ve got to focus on the next day.”

Cairo won the region over the Lady Cats last season in the second game of a doubleheader. The game was tight, and Bainbridge let up only one run to the Syrupmaids going into the sixth inning. The score was 1-0. Conley was on the mound, staring down an 0-2 count and a Cairo team on two outs. On the next pitch, freshman Brenna Jordan hit a three-run homer to seal the game. The Lady Cats are looking forward to flipping the script next week.

But up next for Bainbridge is Thomas County Central at home on Tuesday, first pitch at 6:30.