THOMASVILLE — Despite the fact that Brookwood School hasn’t had a middle school softball team in two years, this summer, one determined mother — turned recruiter, turned head coach — rallied a team of 18 girls, 10 of whom were brand new players. When the season began, Brookwood’s fledgling team managed to win its first three games by considerable margins, even posting a homerun.
During the summer, April Fletcher, whose daughter Mallory has played on travel teams for years, became adamant about Mallory playing for a school team.
“We were not willing to leave our foundation at Brookwood,” Mrs. Fletcher said, “So Coach Ken Johnson offered to hand the team to me. I immediately asked for the help of seasoned coaches Chad Fletcher and Clint Wortman, and we began recruiting, skeptical that we’d end up with enough to form a team.”
With the 18 girls they recruited, a number that surprised everyone, practices began over the summer in 100-plus degree temperatures. Fletcher credits her coaching abilities to the seven years she coached at the Thomasville YMCA, and by watching those who have coached Mallory, a pitcher who aspires to play at the college level.
It happened that the team’s Aug. 7 doubleheader against Pelham was the first uniformed sporting event of the year for Brookwood Athletics. The middle school girls dominated, winning 12-0 and 10-6 that day. They went on the following week to win 3-1 at a rain-shortened game at Whigham.
The undefeated team traveled to Georgia Christian Aug. 18, where at the end of the first inning, they Warriors trailed, 0-8.
“Georgia Christian had a great pitcher,” said Brookwood Assistant Athletic Director Kim Taylor. “The girls got to see what that looks like early, which will help them further down the road.”
Despite the rough start, Brookwood pulled off nine runs up until the fifth inning, putting the score at 9-15. Despite their 9-17 loss, the girls matched Georgia Christian nine runs for nine runs in the last five innings.
Neither the team’s nor Coach Fletcher’s hopes were dashed.
“It’s going to get tougher for us, but win or lose, I’m surprised every day by these girls and their desire to work harder,” she said.
Brookwood plays its next home game at 6 p.m. today against Tiftarea.