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PHS FALLS IN PITCHING DUEL: Johnson strikes out 17 in Brantley victory

The Brantley Lady Bulldogs showed why they are the top-ranked team in Class 1A as they shut out the Pleasant Home Lady Eagles 4-0 on Thursday in Pleasant Home.

Brantley’s Hannah Sims and Lainey Wells got things started with back-to-back singles in the top of the first inning and then a single from Olivia Jones brought around two runs for the Lady Bulldogs.

Lady Eagles’ starting pitcher Ava Bailey then sat down the next three Brantley batters to end the threat.

In the pitcher’s circle for the Lady Bulldogs, Leanna Johnson struck out the first two batters she faced on her way to a 1-2-3 inning.

Brantley’s Leanna Johnson was lights out in the pitcher’s circle. Josh Dutton/Star-News

Bailey came on strong in the top of the second inning and struck out two batters, and worked around a one-out single.

Pitching continued to be the story of the game as Johnson struck out all three Pleasant Home batters in the bottom of the second inning.

Bailey kept the Lady Bulldogs in check in the top of the third inning as she sat the Brantley batters down in order.

Johnson, a Troy University commit, showed why she has been one of the top pitchers in the state the past few years as she once again struck out the side.

Bailey got a strikeout to start the top of the fourth inning, but the Lady Bulldogs scored a run off of a double from Johnson and then a single by Emily Bush put Brantley on top 4-0.

Johnson started off the bottom of the fourth inning with her seventh-straight strikeout before Sharea Coleman singled with one out for the Lady Eagles’ first hit of the contest.

Bailey worked around a lead off error in the top of the fifth inning by sitting down the next three batters.

Johnson looked to get stronger as the game went along as she retired the Lady Eagles in order in the bottom of the fifth inning with two strikeouts and a pop out.

The Lady Eagles got a single from Amy Kate Bulger in the bottom of the seventh, but couldn’t bring her around to score.

Bailey finished the game with seven strikeouts.

Johnson finished the game with 17 strikeouts.