Century Class: Bratcher records 100th career hit in Lady Wildcats’ victory over North Surry
The junior recorded her 100th hit in the first inning of the Lady Wildcats’ 6-4 victory over North Surry on Tuesday night in King.
Bratcher became the third player in the school’s history to record at least 100-hits. The last one to do it before Bratcher was Samantha Wilson in 2009. Mollie Fowler accomplished the feat in 2005.
Bratcher is also three stolen bases away from breaking the school record
“I’m still in shock that I got my 100th hit in my junior year,” said Bratcher after the game. “It’s great knowing that I’ve accomplished what only a few have. I knew I had an opportunity to get my 100th hit coming into the night. When I hit the ball, it felt really good.”
Bratcher finished her monumental night with a 3-for-4 performance at the plate. She also scored a run and had a run batted in as well.
After hitting the century mark in hits, a special announcement was made over the loud speaker explaining Bratcher’s accomplishment. When it was announced the entire West Stokes crowd gave Bratcher a long ovation.
Bratcher’s teammates were incredibly supportive of heras well. Bratcher says she could hear her teammates celebrating in the dugout while she was on base.
“Everyone seemed real happy for me , I could hear them cheering for me in the dugout while I was on base,” said Bratcher. “When I came in, they all congratulated me. It’s nice to have that kind of support from my teammates.”
West Stokes head coach Rick McHone has coached Bratcher for three seasons and he has seen her develop into a good softball player. He said that her drive and determination is what helped her achieve such a milestone.
“Bri is a game changer,” said McHone. “When she is on her game, West Stokes is hard to beat. I have had the privilege of coaching her the past three seasons. I have seen her mature into a determined young lady and a really good ball player. Her drive for accomplishment is what gets her where she is at. She wants to excel.”
McHone says that he is proud of Bratcher’s accomplishment and has watched her improve her role as a slap hitter over the course of her playing career at West Stokes.
“The 100th hit was a big deal for me and my staff,” said McHone. “We are so proud of her. When she came in as a freshman, we saw the potential of Bri becoming a very good slap hitter because of her speed. We decided to turn her around to the left side and go to work. She reluctantly accepted that role and has continued to improve all three years. It has been fun watching her during the transformation. Once she understood and realized her potential from the left side, she bought into the idea of being a slapper and she has really excelled. We’re all so proud of her.”
McHone believes that if Bratcher keeps working and getting better, then she could definitely set a new record for the most hits in school history.
“No competitior wants to see her at the plate,” said McHone. “Bri still has the rest of this year and then her senior year to go. She could quite possibly have the most hits of anyone at West Stokes if she keeps working hard.”
The Lady Wildcats recorded 13 hits in the victory over North Surry.
Ashley Baughman was also 3-for-4 at the plate. Emily Worley was 1-for-4 with two RBI. Morgan Manley was 1-for-2 and also recorded two RBI in the victory for the Lady Wildcats.
Samantha Seaman was 2-for-4 with a run. Taylor McKinney and Lauryn Smith were each 1-for-3 at the plate. Senior Carly Madigan was 1-for-4 for the Lady Wildcats.
Smith pitched a complete game, striking out five batters en route to her 10th win of the season.
The win improves West Stokes to 11-8 overall and 9-3 in the Northwest 1A/2A Conference. The Lady Wildcats are in third place in the overall standings behind 1A schools East Surry and North Stokes. The win over the Lady Greyhounds gives the Lady Wildcats a huge advantage in clinching the No. 1 overall 2A seed from the conference, which will be vital in the state playoffs.
“This game was a big deal for us,” said McHone. “They are one of four 2A competitors within the conference. That win gives us a leg up on the chase for the No. 1 2A seed out of the conference, which is a goal we set early on. That’s a big deal for us because the No. 1 seed will give us homefield throughout the playoffs if we can keep winning. We want that.”