Evans junior Laura Brown and sophomore Jenny Shepherd made the two key contributions in an upset win against Greenbrier two weeks ago.
The friends received plenty of congratulations and support from teammates and classmates after the rivalry win, but stopping the story there would cheat them out of everything else they've accomplished.
The rivalry victory didn't make them good softball players. The Evans pitchers were good way before then.
"I've been blessed to have girls like them," Evans softball coach Colette Cassedy said. "To have two girls like that is unusual."
Plenty of strong softball teams in the area and across the state rely on one solid pitcher. The Lady Knights have Brown and Shepherd, both of whom are capable of turning in a dominating pitching performance.
It can make for a confusing scouting report for other teams.
"I had someone come up to me at a tournament in Atlanta and ask me who was my ace," Cassedy said. "I had to stop and think. I just said I don't have one. I don't mean that in a negative way. Any girl on the team would probably say the same thing. We have two top pitchers."
They've shown their strengths this season more than ever. Brown was untouchable in that Atlanta tournament when she threw two no-hitters in two days.
Shepherd turned in a 14-strikeout performance in a 2-1 win over Lassiter in the same tournament to help Evans take the silver bracket championship.
Three days later, Shepherd struck out another 14 batters in a 1-0, eight inning win over Greenbrier.
Both Brown and Shepherd were quick to deflect the credit for their wins to the team.
"Our defense definitely has a lot to do with it," Shepherd said. "I know the team's got our backs. They're always behind us."
Then there's the girl in front of them. Evans senior Nikki Kinner is the usual catcher behind the plate for both girls. She calls every pitch the girls throw and has also played with them on their Georgia Rockers traveling team.
"They improve every year. They both hit their spots, and their speeds are amazing," Kinner said. "I have to wear my batting glove inside my other glove to catch them."
The results so far have been outstanding for the Lady Knights. Evans entered the week with a 19-9 record and still had a chance at the No. 1 spot in the subregion.
"We've told them they have the most potential of any team we've had in a long time," Cassedy said. "They've just got to have the confidence and believe they can do it. It's more mental at this point."
The Lady Knights are in the final week of subregion play. They'll face the Academy of Richmond County at home Thursday before the Region 3-AAAA Tournament begins Saturday at Glynn Academy in Brunswick, Ga.
"It doesn't matter where we're seeded. We just want to win," Shepherd said.
The Lady Knights need a win Saturday to guarantee a state playoff bid. The Region 3-AAAA Tournament semifinals and finals will be played Tuesday in Brunswick.
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