The Cherokee softball teams had home run seasons this year. Varsity and JV both had a fantastic win – lose ratio with Varsity’s regular season ratio at 20-7 and JV’s at 11-5 and County Runner Ups!
Varsity claimed the title “Region 5AAAAAAA Champions” after their victory against Milton HS on Sept. 30! The team went into overtime in their second game, and Cherokee eventually came out on top with the final score of 13 -12!
Additionally, the Varsity team broke many previous team records during regular season and in post season!
[Photo credit: @cherokeesoftball via Instagram.]
During their seasons, both teams celebrated multiple special themed nights, kicking it off with Teacher Appreciation Night (Aug. 24), Junior Warrior Night (Sept. 8 and Sept. 9), Sponsor Appreciation Night (Sept. 14), Strike-Out Cancer Night (Sept. 30 and Oct. 4), and Senior Night (Oct.13).
Teacher Appreciation Night
The first special night of the season was Teacher Appreciation Night. Both of the games were held on Aug. 24 – the JV game was at 4:30 p.m. and Varsity, 6:00 p.m. A few days before the games, players invited their favorite teachers to their game and prepared optional gifts for their teachers. Moments before the game, players and their teachers were called out individually to stand on the foul line for the National Anthem and to take a photo together. The teachers each received an appreciation certificate from the softball program.
Junior Warrior Night
Junior Warrior Night was split into two days – Sept. 8 and Sept. 9. The junior players were divided between their respective teams. Varsity had Junior Warrior Gold and JV had the Silver Team. High school players had gift bags with many trinkets they gave to their player(s), along with handwritten notes!
[Images: Varsity with the Jr Warrior Gold team]
[Images: JV celebrates the Jr Warrior Silver team.]
Sponsor Appreciation Night
Sponsor Appreciation Night came soon after Junior Warrior Nights. The Cherokee Softball sponsors attended the game and threw out the first pitch, and afterward, each sponsor received a ball, signed by every Varsity player. The softball program was so grateful to their sponsors, knowing they would not have this amazing program without their essential investors!
Sept. 14 was not only Sponsor Appreciation Night, but it also became a night both players and coaches alike will remember. Kenleigh Spence pitched a shutout against Alpharetta HS to secure Head Coach Tonya Carlisle’s 400th career win! After the game, both Varsity and JV players raced onto the field and dumped massive coolers filled with cool water onto Coach Carlisle!
Congratulations on the huge accomplishment, Coach! Here’s to many more!
Strikeout Cancer Night
The Strikeout Cancer event was a two-night event, starting with Varsity on Sept. 30. The softball program honored the Bowden family before the game, as junior Madison Bowden’s mom threw the first pitch in memory of their 13-month-old daughter, Aubrey, who passed away from cancer in 2010.
During both games, raffle tickets were sold in a 50/50 raffle. Half the money was split between the people who bought them, and the other half went back to cancer research.
The JV game was played on Oct. 4, and the softball program honored the Reece family, as Amy Reece’s husband, Scottie, passed away from cancer. Her daughter, freshman Hailey Reece, caught the pitch.
[Images: Additional Strikeout Cancer photos from both games.]
Senior Night is a special way to honor our fourth-year players and the hard work and dedication they put into the softball program here at Cherokee. Seniors Nikki Brown, Cadance Summerlin and Haleigh Cianchetti were honored on Oct.13.
Senior Night began with the three honorees throwing out the first pitch before the first game of the team’s state playoff game against Norcross HS.
After their big win that advanced them to the Sweet 16 (the second round in state playoffs), the seniors gathered in center field next to their jersey numbers. It was a home game, and everyone’s emotions were running high. The seniors had prepared speeches for the announcer to read aloud while each individual senior met their loved ones at second base, then walked with them to the mound, where they were greeted by all their coaches. They each received a handful of handmade letters from their teammates, along with flowers and gift baskets.
Haleigh Cianchetti reflects on her Senior Night experience. Along with the additional excitement, she hit a home run during the game.
Senior Night was a great experience! I loved getting to celebrate my years of playing with Cherokee Softball. Hitting a back-to-back homerun with another senior, Nikki Brown, on this night made it so much more memorable.Haleigh Cianchetti, #24
[Images: Additional photos from both teams throughout their seasons.]
Honorable Mention: Halloween Practice
The Varsity team had their annual costume practice on Oct. 14 . The girls came up with many creative costumes, and the players had fun playing the sport they love – with a fun twist!
The Road to Columbus
Varsity is not done fighting yet, though. Their win in their second round of state playoffs bought them a ticket to Columbus – the first time in 13 years in Cherokee Softball history! They will be leaving mid-day this Wednesday to head to Columbus, and hopefully, to victory.
[Images: Varsity and JV takes selfies during their seasons.]
Come out and support your Lady Warriors as they travel to Columbus to compete for State Champions! Click here to watch their first games live on Thursday at 5 and 9 p.m.
- Varsity: Jeremy Bowden, Brandy Hefner
- JV: Brandy Hefner, Madison Bowden, Katie Pesavento, Ashley Needham
- Selfies: Cadance Summerlin, Lottie Landmesser, Nikki Brown, Justice Buice, Emma Harlow, Rylee Griesemer, Bree Wheeler, Chloe Manders