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Athletes Beyond Bartow: Howard makes pair of strong starts, Reinhardt softball season ends in disapp

Sam Howard put together a pair of impressive back-to-back starts for the Hartford Yard Goats and the stellar year put together by the locals on the Reinhardt University softball team came to a surprising and disappointing conclusion this past week to highlight the latest edition of Athletes Beyond Bartow.

The Reinhardt women were playing in the NAIA National Tournament Opening Round at Ottawa, Kansas and had won two games and lost one in the double-elimination format event.

The Eagles, who lost to host Ottawa (KS) University earlier in the tournament, had worked their way back through the losers’ bracket for a championship round rematch with Ottawa. Rain set in and halted a 2-2 tied game and then the game and the remainder of the tournament was ultimately cancelled. Ottawa was named Opening Round tournament winners and advances to the NAIA Finals in Clermont, Florida that begin this Friday.

Reinhardt players, coaches, adminstrators, and fans were upset by the host school’s decision to not work on the field after the rain. The school also did not have a tarpaulin to cover the infield. The NAIA stated organization rules in place in the event of an Opening Round tournament rainout. Those rules enabled Ottawa (39-17) to advance.


SAM HOWARD — Hartford Yard Goats - Double-A Eastern League - Colorado Rockies organization (4th-yr. pro, LHP, Georgia Southern University, Cartersville HS). . . made a pair of impressive starts this past week for the Yard Goats. Last Tuesday, he tossed a 7-inning, one-hit shutout as Hartford won at Portland (BOS) 3-0. Howard walked one and fanned four Sea Dogs. Sunday at home, Howard worked into the fifth inning but received a no-decision as Hartford beat the Akron Rubber Ducks (CLE) 5-2. Howard allowed one earned run, four hits, no walks, and struck out two. For the season, he is now 1-3 in seven starts and 35 innings. He has 29 strikeouts and a 1.80 ERA. Opponents have a .161 batting average against him in one start at AAA Albuquerque and six starts at Double-A Hartford. The Yard Goats are 19-22 this season and in fifth place in the Eastern Division of the Eastern League. They are six games behind the first-place Trenton Thunder (NYY).

CONNOR JUSTUS — Inland Empire 66ers - Class A Advanced California League - Los Angeles Angels organization (2nd yr. pro, SS, Georgia Tech, Cartersville HS). . . tripled, drove in a run, and scored a run in a 1-for-4 performance Sunday at home during a 7-4 loss to the Lancaster JetHawks. Justus also had a 1-for-4 game last Thursday in an 8-7 loss to Stockton that included a double and a run scored. After hitting safely in 8-of-10 games May 3-13, he has gone 2-for-23 over his last seven games with his batting average slipping to .203 for the year. Justus has two homers and 12 RBIs. He has drawn 26 walks and has a .348 on base percentage as the 66er’s every day shortstop hitting generally in the six-hole. Inland Empire (22-22) is in third place in the South Division of the California League, four games behind division leading Rancho Cucamonga (LAD).


ELLIOTT ANDERSON — Auburn University (Fr., LHP, Cartersville HS). . . worked an inning and one-third allowing one hit and recorded a strikeout as Auburn fell 8-2 Saturday to visiting Ole Miss. The Tigers (34-22, 16-14 SEC) won the first two games of the conference series. Anderson is 1-0 on the season in 12 appearances with 12.1 innings pitched and nine strikeouts. Auburn must now face Ole Miss again Tuesday night in the first round of the Southeastern Conference tournament. The Tigers are the 8-seed and the Rebels are seeded ninth. The game is an elimination play-in for the double-elimination championship bracket.

TY FOWLER — Tennessee Wesleyan College (Sr., RHP, Cartersville HS). . . with his team trailing 2-0, Fowler entered in the second inning and tossed three and one-third innings in an 8-7 come-from-behind win over Marian University during an elimination game at the NAIA National tournament Opening Round in Kingsport, TN. Fowler allowed two runs in the fifth inning, but both were unearned. He allowed only one hit, walked three, and struck out two. The Bulldogs went 2-2 in the national tournament with both losses coming to Indiana University Southeast. TWC finished the year 41-20. Fowler made 13 appearances this season (3 starts) and pitched 26 innings. He finished with a 2.42 ERA and 10 strikeouts. He made 22 appearances in his two seasons at Tennessee Wesleyan with a 2-1 mark, 37 innings pitched, and a 2.43 ERA with 25 strikeouts.

MICHAEL GOSS — UNC-Greensboro (R-Sr., 1B, Cartersville HS). . . went 1-for-10 in the final Southern Conference three-game series of the regular season at Samford in Birmingham over the weekend. He had a walk, was hit twice by a pitch and scored a pair of runs in the series. For the season, Goss is hitting .316 in 51 games with seven home runs and 43 RBIs. The Spartans (31-20, 14-10 SoCon) are the 3-seed in the SoCon Tournament that begins Wednesday at Fluor Field in Greenville, SC. UNCG has a rematch with 6-seed Samford in the first round of the double-elimination championship.

BRADLEY HOOD — Georgia Highlands College (Soph., RHP, Cass HS). . . entered in the seventh inning last Thursday of the Chargers final game of the year and allowed a hit to the only batter he faced. GHC was knocked out of the NJCAA East Central District tournament by conference-foe East Georgia 12-4. The Chargers finished the season 40-21 and were the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Associaton (GCAA) tournament champions. Hood pitched 12.1 innings this season, struck out 14, and finished the year with a 1-1 record, one save, and had a 1.46 ERA.

HAYDEN SINIARD — Chattahoochee Valley CC (Fr., RHP, Woodland HS). . . entered in the sixth inning and pitching an inning and one-third last Monday in a 12-4 loss to Shelton State CC in the Alabama Community College Conference championship tournament. He allowed one earned run, a walk, and fanned one batter. For the year, Siniard made 15 appearances and finished with a 2-1 record and a 3.26 ERA with 14 strikeouts.

JO JO UNDERWOOD — UNC-Greensboro (Sr., 3B/C, Cartersville HS). . . went 2-for-5 Saturday and scored a run in the Spartans 14-7 win at Samford. He also made a pinch-hitting appearance Friday in a 7-1 loss to the Bulldogs. Underwood has a .314 batting average this season in 25 games (13 starts) with a pair of homers and nine RBIs. The Spartans (31-20, 14-10 SoCon) are the 3-seed in the SoCon Tournament that begins Wednesday at Fluor Field in Greenville, SC. UNCG has a rematch with 6-seed Samford in the first round of the double-elimination championship.


BETHANY BALLARD — Armstrong State University (Sr., C/1B, Cass HS). . . made her second post-season pinch hitting appearance last Friday in a 5-2 victory over Peach Belt Conference rival North Georgia in the NCAA Super Regionals. Ballard has a .273 batting average this season used primarily as a pinch-hitter. The Lady Pirates (36-12) have advanced to the NCAA D-II Women’s World Series and are seeded third. They play University of West Florida in their opening game of the eight-team, double-elimination championship Friday night in Salem, Virginia.

TAYLOR BRASELTON — Reinhardt University (Sr., SS, Woodland HS). . . was 4-for-9, scored one run, drove in two runs, walked three times, and stole three bases in three games at the NAIA tournament. She finished the season with a .458 batting average (203 at bats, 57 games), 31 RBIs, and 33 stolen bases. Reinhardt was 43-15-1 this season.

SYDNEY FLOWERS — Reinhardt University (Sr., UT, Woodland HS). . . saw playing time in the Lady Eagles’ 8-2 loss to Ottawa University at the NAIA Opening Round tournament. She played in 31 games this season (9 starts) and finished with a .205 batting average in 44 at bats. Flowers had six RBIs and scored a dozen runs. Reinhardt finished the year with a 43-15-1 mark.

CASSIDY HOWREN — Reinhardt University (Jr., C, Adairsville HS). . . went 2-for-9 at the NAIA national Opening Round Tournament in Ottawa, Kansas. She played in 56 games this season (53 starts) and finished the year with a .275 batting average (131 at bats). Howren had eight RBIs and nine sacrifice hits. Reinhardt finished the year with a 43-15-1 mark.

HUNTER IRVIN — Reinhardt University (Soph., OF, Cartersville HS). . . did not see action at the NAIA national Opening Round Tournament but played in 17 games this season with three starts for the Eagles. She concluded the year with a .250 batting average in 16 official at bats. Reinhardt was 43-15-1 this season.

TAYLOR WEEKS — Reinhardt University (Sr., LF, Adairsville HS). . . in three games at the NAIA national Opening Round tournament in Ottawa, Kansas, she was 5-for-10 with a pair of doubles and scored a run in each game. Weeks saw action in 57 of the Eagles 59 games this season and started 56 games. She wrapped up the year with a .408 batting average in 179 official at bats and had an on-base percentage of .473. She had nine extra-base hits including five triples and 30 RBIs. Weeks stole eight bases. The Eagles finished the year 43-15-1.


Each week, Bartow Sports Zone provides updates on Cartersville and Bartow County athletes currently contributing on collegiate and professional rosters. Did we miss someone this week? If we did, it wasn't intentional. Please let us know by using the 'Contact' link at the top of this page.

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