The Newnan Times-Herald


High school standouts continue to shine at next level

  • By Doug Gorman
  • |
  • Feb. 21, 2018 - 6:05 AM

LSU junior softball player Shemiah Sanchez has overcome a lot during her first two years on the Baton Rouge campus.

The former East Coweta standout has played through a Lupus diagnosis, but the illness hasn’t slowed her passion for the game.

“At first, I thought lupus was just like the flu and it will go away,” she said in an interview last year. “It was just something I had to accept and just embrace it.”

Embrace it she has. Sanchez has only missed a handful of games since stepping on the  LSU campus.
A year ago, she played in 60 of the teams 70 contest, starting 59, while helping lead the team to a 48-22 record and a trip to the College World Series.

This year, she has started in all 10 games as the Tigers have gotten off to an undefeated record.

Sanchez has driven in seven runs, reached base with six hits, including three doubles, and scored five times.

At East Coweta,  she ended her career as the holder of 15 records, including hitting .439 batting average, finishing with 177 hits, 133 runs and 131 RBI. She was also named the Times-Herald Player of the Year after hitting .463 with 15 doubles, 55 runs scored and 49 RBI as a senior.  She also played on the Puerto Rican National team with fellow LSU teammate  Sahvanna Jaquish.

Echols already record setter at Michigan State: Former Northgate softball standout Ebonee Echols has just begun her junior year with the Michigan State Spartans.

It’s taken Echols just two years to put her name in the Michigan State record books with a career leading 20 triples, including 11 last season.

Those 11 triples led the nation.

Last season, she also paced the Spartans with 11 stolen bases. She also drove in 48 runs. 

This year, Echols, who plays in the outfield for the Spartans, has stated all nine games and is the team’s second leading hitter.

The former Northgate standout is batting .370 with a double and two RBI. 

Through nine games, Michigan State is 3-6 after beating Bethune Cookman and Northern Illinois in the Florida Atlantic Tournament to open the season and then beating 
Southern Illinois last weekend in the Gamecock Invitational on the University of South Carolina campus.

In the opening week of the season, Echols went 2-for-2 with two RBIs in the victory over over Northern Illinois. She also had two hits in the win over Bethuane Cookman.

Last weekend, she also had a hit in the win against Southern Illinois.

At Northgate, she earned Newnan Times-Herald All-County honors all four years.

She also helped lead the Lady Vikings to the Class 5-A softball title her freshman year.

Next year, Echols will be joined by her younger sister Charla who has also signed a softball letter intent to Michigan State after playing four years at Northgate.

Katey Lynch begins her red-shirt sophomore season at Kennesaw State: Lynch and her Kennesaw State softball teammates have had to battle some weather issues to start the 2018 season, but after the first five games were cancelled, their season is finally underway.

The Owls enter the week with a 2-3 record. Kennesaw State picked up  a win  on Sunday with a 10-0 victory over LIU-Brooklyn.

 Lynch helped pace the offense with a 2-for-3 performance, scoring two runs.

Lynch has played in three games for the Owls, starting one. She is hitting .500 with two hits in four at bats and three runs scored.

The former East Coweta standout was named to the Newnann Times Herald all three years. She also helped pace East Coweta to a a region title in all four seasons.   Lynch also set school records for most doubles (15), RBI (40) and batting average (.408). In 2013, she earned the 2013 Slugger Award after registering six home runs, including one grand slam and a .467 batting average as a junior. She was also the team MVP in 2014.

Skalski, Jobe playing for Georgia State:  Former Northgate outfielder Brenna Skalski is entering her final season of college softball for the Panthers, while former Newnan catcher  Arden Jobe is starting her junior year.

 A year ago, Skalski  hit .304 with a double and a triple while driving in seven runs to help the Panthers to a 36-25 record.

This year, the Panthers are off to a 5-6 start  Skalski  has started 10 games and is batting .214, with seven hits, three RBI and a double.

Jobe has played in nine games for the Panthers, starting eight. Jobe is batting .200 with five RBI and two runs scored.

During her high school career, Skalski earned Newnan Times-Herald honors four times.

In 2011, Skalski led Northgate to the state title. She was also a four-time Newnan Times-Herald All-County selection and a two-time all-state selection.

Jobe also earned all-county honors and was the Newnan Times-Herald Newcomer of the Year as a freshman.

Freeman, Scarbrough playing for Georgia Southern: Former East Coweta outfield Mekhia Freeman and  Newnan outfielder Hannah Scarbrough have begun the 2018 season with the Eagles.

Georgia Southern is off to a 7-2 record.

Freeman has played in and started seven games for the Eagles with .292 average.She has seven hits, including a homer and a double and six RBI.

Scarbrough just began her freshman year and is still looking for her first college hit. Scarbrough has played in four games and scored a run.

In high school, Freeman and Scarbrough each earned Newnan Times-Herald All-County honors their senior year and were also named to the All-Region team.