A day that was expected to be cool and cloudy turned out to be hot and sunny, and it was the Lady Rams who benefited. Newton’s softball team dispatched Locust Grove in a 3-0 win.
Coming off a 0-4 weekend at the South Gwinnett Tournament, the Lady Rams bounced back strong. Head coach Greg Cowan believes in his team, although they are young, he said they do have speed and they can play some defense. Cowan said that he hopes that come region-play they’ll be a force to reckon with.
“To come out strong after the weekend we had, we didn’t do too well when it came to wins and losses this weekend but we learned a lot about the team. I think putting it out on the field and seeing it go in to action gave us confidence for the season,” Ashley Coles, assistant coach and Cowan’s daughter, said.
“I think it’s (the win) gonna show them no matter what age you are, if you know how to play ball and you work hard you can win ball games. It’s just about one inning at a time, one hit at a time, taking the extra base and doing the little things right,” Coles added.
The game was marked by some solid pitching and pretty good defense. The Rams couldn’t get on the board until the fourth despite a number of innings with some good offensive production.
“We definitely gotta work on our hitting,” Coles said. “I felt like against that pitcher we should have had a lot more runs than we produced. Obviously three runs is good, but we needed some insurance. I also feel that our outfield is a work in progress, they’re doing a great job. I couldn’t be happier with what we saw out there today.”
Locust Grove attempted to manufacture runs and even piled on some good hits, but Newton’s defense was too stout. Led by freshman pitcher Brittany Ellis, who pitched a complete game, the Lady Rams were strong on the mound.
Coles has been working with Ellis since she was eight and said she was proud to see her come into her own.
“I’m real proud of her. I couldn’t believe how well she’s come out. Very pleased on the mound,” Coles said.
Ellis threw with speed and confidence despite being a freshman. At first glance she looks like a senior, and she probably plays better than some.
“Her future is nothing but bright. She’s working and she’s still growing. I see her speed increasing and I know her movement will increase.”
The Lady Rams are young, but they do have some experience in shortstop Ciara Bryan.
Bryan lofted a shot deep over the center-fielder’s head, that initially looked like a home-run but wasn’t long enough, that scored three as the Lady Rams coasted to victory behind the arm of Ellis.
“We all know and anyone watching the ball game knows that Ciara is one of our big players,” Coles said. “She comes through in the clutch and that’s usually her attitude. And that’s what we love. We teach her to go out there and be confident, and I saw it in that at-bat. As far as on the field goes, she’s always been a leader, and I think that she’ll continue to. We’re gonna keep her in that role.”