Lady Cougars get big win at division rival Clarkdale
By By Rocky Higginbotham/The Meridian Star
April 10, 2001
Last spring, the Newton County fast-pitch softball team fought its way into the playoffs virtue of a tiebreaker and went on to win the Class 3A/2A/1A state championship.
This season, the Lady Cougars didn't want to have to sweat out a postseason berth quite as long. And with a win at Clarkdale Monday night, they won't have to.
Visiting Newton County overcame an early deficit with seven unanswered runs and beat Clarkdale 7-3 Monday night in a key Division 5 showdown that all but wraps up the division title.
The Lady Cougars are now 24-2 overall and 10-0 in division play, while Clarkdale is 25-7 and 10-2. Previous rainouts will have the same two teams tangling again today at Decatur at 7 p.m.
In the first inning, it was Clarkdale's JorD'an Orr who was big at the plate, ripping a two-run triple, then scoring on an RBI single from Megan Potate to put the host Lady Bulldogs up 3-0.
Newton County answered right back with two of its own, as Ferguson delivered an RBI triple and scored on an infield single by Suzanne Chaney.
The Lady Cougars tied it with a single run in the third, then put together a four-run rally in the sixth.
Ferguson led off the inning with another hit, and back-to-back walks loaded the bases for Williamson whose hot shot down the first-base line produced a pair of runs. After an uncharacteristic 1-2-4-2 double play, consecutive hits by Stephanie Airhart and Dominique Mapp made it a 7-3 game.
Senior righty April Bufkin ran her record to 16-1. After allowing three runs two earned in the first inning, Bufkin went on to toss a complete game four-hitter with seven strikeouts.
Mapp was 2-for-3 with a double and Ferguson was 2-for-4 with a triple and two runs to lead the Lady Cougars, who outhit Clarkdale 8-4.
Emily Howard, one of five freshmen in the starting lineup for Roberson, fell to 19-4 with the loss. Orr, Potate, Ashley Satcher and Morgan Wright had Clarkdale's hits.
The Lady Bulldogs, who are at Union Thursday after going to Newton County today, still need at least one more victory to assure themselves of making the playoffs after missing out last season.
Rocky Higginbotham is the sports editor of The Meridian Star. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.