By Tim Chambers
University High had very little trouble winning the Watauga Valley Conference championship during the 2016 softball campaign.That wasn’t the case however against Johnson County and “double trouble” was one of the reasons why.
The twin duo of Courtney and Brittany Brooks played a huge role in Johnson County’s 4-2 win over the Junior Bucs on senior day at Bob Kirksey Field on Thursday. It was a sigh of relief for head coach Dana Smith after watching her team suffer two total meltdowns against Happy Valley and Elizabethton in their previous two games.
The Lady Longhorns banged out 11 hits en route to the win. Smith agreed it couldn’t have come at a better time.
“It’s always special to win on senior day,” said Smith. “We hit the ball well but we left too many runners on in scoring position early in the game. I thought our defense played well and Bri (Snyder) pitched a great game. Tonight they were giving her the corners. That proved to be a good thing for us.”
So did the two-run single by Courtney Brooks in the fourth inning that came with two outs. That broke a 2-2 tie and put the Longhorns in front 4-2.
“We talked about winning for our seniors before the game,” said Courtney. “We wanted them to remember this game. We were playing a good team to all of us underclassmen had to step up. I think everyone did that today.”
It was twin sister Brittney’s deep fly ball that brought home the tying run in the same inning. She said the game was crucial for a couple of reasons.
“We hadn’t been playing very well so we had to get back to winning,” said Brittany. “And winning for the seniors made it more special. Everyone was tired of losing.”
So was Snyder, one of six seniors on the squad. The Milligan signee scattered seven hits and pitched out of two crucial late inning jams in the fifth and seventh innings. But she had plenty of help from her senior mates.
For the rest of the story, pick up a copy of this week’s Tomahawk.