Bradley Central senior post player Brooke Copeland surpassed 2,000 points for her career last Friday during her 40-point performance in the Bearettes' 67-51 victory over crosstown rival Cleveland at Lee University. She became the ninth in the storied girls' high school program's history to eclipse the mark and the first since former Middle Tennessee State player Jackie Pickel in the 2005-06 season.
"I knew she had that kind of potential," Bradley Central coach Jason Reuter said. "I didn't necessarily earmark her for 2,000 points, but I knew she had the chance to be one of the better girls' players to come through here in a lot of years. She's had to stay injury-free and we've been blessed to go deep in the TSSAA playoffs the last few years. It's been an accumulation of those things and her hard work."
Copeland's career-high point total Friday, which raised her scoring average to 20.7 points per game, was the most for a Bearette since former University of Tennessee player Brittany Jackson scored 40 against Decatur, Ala., on Nov. 26, 2000. And Nora Berry's 36 points for Cleveland was the most in a game for a Lady Raider since Tiffany Buckalew had 36 on Jan. 10, 2003 against Cumberland County.
Silverdale Baptist Academy junior and Chattanooga Force '97 softball player Allison Meadows recently committed to a scholarship offer from NCAA Division II Lee University. Meadows began attending softball camps at the Cleveland school around the time she was a freshman at Silverdale.
"I really like the Christian environment, also the education they can offer me, and the softball program is great," Meadows said. "I'm really excited about all three of those things. Plus it's close to home, so my family and friends aren't too far away."
Meadows, who has started since she was a freshman, primarily in center field, missed a portion of last season for the Lady Seahawks while recovering from stab wounds suffered in an incident at a department store while visiting family in Pittsburgh, Pa. Still, the leadoff batter is on pace to own all of Class A Silverdale's batting records except home runs.
Meadows is a career .463 hitter and owns the single-season school record with a .493 average. She has 25 career stolen bases, and the five hits and five runs scored she had against Moore County in 2012 tied TSSAA state-tournament records.
"Her work ethic is second to none," SBA coach Tim Couch said. "Obviously she's battled back from a severe injury, but prior to that even, she's worked really hard. With any good player like that, my goal is just to not mess them up and keep them headed in the right direction. You just try to push them. If they're going to play at the next level, they've got to learn how to compete and win a job.
"She's not the rah-rah type. She just goes about her business. She's small, but she's physically strong and mentally strong. And she goes out every game and tries to get better."
Columbia signs Ainslie
Central's Chasidy Ainslie signed softball scholarship papers Tuesday with Columbia (Tenn.) State Community College. The senior right-hander, who plays summer ball for the Frost Falcons '94, visited the TCCAA school last month and said she was offered a scholarship then. The coaches weathered Tuesday's snowstorm to get to Highway 58 and sign her.
"I like the area," Ainslie said. "It's really nice and pretty. The coaches are super nice and competitive. That's what I like. All the players were home on Christmas break when I visited, but I got to see the campus, the field and the living area. It was nice."
Ainslie has compiled a 50-20 pitching record the last three years for the Lady Purple Pounders and helped them to a Class AA state-tournament berth her freshman year. Last season she totaled 115 strikeouts in 176 innings and batted .336 with 10 extra-base hits and 31 RBIs.
"She doesn't care who we're playing," Central coach LeeAnne Shurette said. "Put her out there in the circle and she's going to challenge somebody. That's just the kind of kid she is. I love her attitude. She's not going to back down from anybody. Give her the ball and she says, 'I'll go do the best I can.' I think she'll do well there."
Kelley Smiddie is a sports writer who has worked at the Times Free Press for 12 years. He covers high school sports and softball. Kelley’s hometown is Chattanooga, and he graduated from Brainerd High School and graduated Chattanooga State and UTC. Contact Kelley at 423-757-6653 or email@example.com.