The Banks County Lady Leopards are fresh off an historic 2017 season in which they made school history with a 2A Semifinals run, falling one game shy of the state title game.
“People have said, ‘Banks County, oh this is the first time they’ve ever made it to the final three,’ but it’s not a fluke. We have something to prove this year.”
While senior Jaycie Bowen feels that the girls have something to prove, most of us are pretty convinced this team is legit.
Through just four games, all wins, the Lady Leopards have a lethal lineup that top to bottom contributes, a one-two pitching punch that drives opposing teams crazy, and a solid defense, as well as some intangibles.
“We have two great pitchers,” says senior catch Taylor Speed of the pitching that keeps hitters off balance. “Tybee [Denton] throws a good bit of heat…she has some great rise balls coming in. We throw Jaycie in there, she’s got some drops and other stuff. We just can really mix it up. If they start catching up to one speed we can throw in another pitcher.”
While the pitching, led by Denton and Bowen, has been spot-on so far, a huge surprise has been the offensive power we’ve seen in terms of homeruns.
“Coming off of last year, going to the state tournament, we got a little taste of it,” says Bowen, who has four homers already this season. “But now we want the whole meal. We want to be able to hit the ball, even if it isn’t not over the fence…aggressive hits that do good things for us. Every person on this team…every person in that dugout is more than capable of hitting the ball.”
The Lady Leopards are taking nothing for granted in 2018, and have the mindset that they can be beat at any time if they overlook someone.
“We’ve got to work harder than we did last year,” says senior third baseman Abby Ledford. “Nobody can be taken for granted…we have to come out every game and be focused, and play like we are at the level that we are.”
So far, the girls are as good as advertised, going 4-0 while outscoring opponents 33-8.
“4-0 gives a team confidence,” says Bowen. “But if you’re not careful your head can get too big. We play for God…we play for Him, we’re not playing for ourselves, but for each other. Our saying last year was 100%, 100% of the time. We want to carry that over to this year.”