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Newton softball ends losing streak, grabs region win
Junior Brittney Ellis pitched all seven innings for the first time this season in Newton's win against South Gwinnett. - photo by Mariya Lewter

The Newton High School softball team finally put an end to their eight-game losing streak with a 6-0 win against South Gwinnett Tuesday night.

“It’s a big win because we needed this,” said Coach Shandria Usher after the home game. “We needed to come out of that little hole that we were in. They’re ready to play and ready to take on the next team we have in our region, which is Grayson.”

The Rams (2-8) had a great hitting night, coming away with 12 hits in the six innings they were at bat. Senior Ashley Weesner scored the first run of the game in the second inning after a hit by Micah Sheppard helped send her to home plate.

After a scoreless third and fourth inning for both teams, Newton got hot in the fifth, scoring five runs off six hits. Five of its runs came before the team even got its first out, and every batter in rotation got a chance to be at bat.

“We’ve been working hard on [our hitting],” Usher said. “The girls have finally found their comfort zone, so we’re on, and we’re going to keep going.”

Junior pitcher Brittney Ellis had a great night on the mound for the Rams, ending the night with four strikeouts. But that number does little justice for her influence on the game.

“Brittney did an awesome job today,” Usher said. “Today was her first day actually pitching seven innings, and I am proud of everything she did. I am also proud of my centerfielder, Mariah Williams. She did an awesome job. She caught the ball very well, she talked to the defense. She was a leader, and she’s actually a freshman.”

The Newton defense also played a major role Tuesday. Despite nine hits by the Comets, the Rams kept South Gwinnett away from the home plate all game long.

The Rams came off a close 13-11 loss to Rockdale, but that game and Tuesday’s win show that the Rams are finally finding their stride.

According to Usher, the team has finally learned to communicate, with every finding their right position. The Rams also came away with zero errors in their first region win against the Comets (3-12), which was something they’ve struggled with all season.

“This is just going to build [their confidence] and help us,” Usher said. “They’re going to learn from what they did today and keep moving, and it’s going to help and motivate them.”
Newton will return to action Thursday against Grayson at 7 p.m. in Loganville.