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Clarkdale secures fast-pitch playoff berth

By By Marty Stamper/The Meridian Star
April 13, 2001
UNION Clarkdale scored two runs in the third, fourth, and seventh innings to take a 6-3 win over Union and secure second place in the final 2001 Division 5, Class 3A/2A/1A standings.
The Lady Bulldogs, 26-8, will travel to Meadville on Monday for a best-of-three playoff series with Franklin County, 11-5. The first of three possible games is set for 3 p.m.
Union took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning as Francis McDougle and Madison Brantley led off with bunt singles, with McDougle scoring all the way from first base on Brantley's hit. Marley Smith reached on a fielder's choice and scored on a wild pitch.
Smith was Union's last baserunner for a while as Emily Howard retired the next 11 batters in a row.
Clarkdale took advantage of Howard's pitching to grab a 4-2 lead.
In the top of the third, Brandi Wright beat out a bunt single and Lindsey Stamm followed with a one-out single. JorD'an Orr plated Wright on a fielder's choice and Stamm came home on a two-out single just inside the left-field line by Megan Potate.
The Lady Bulldogs turned a pair of walks into two runs in the fourth inning. One scored on a wild pitch with the second crossing the plate on a fielder's choice by Morgan Wright.
Union got its first ball out of the infield in the bottom of the fifth on a two-out single by Morgan Milling. The Lady Jackets stranded two baserunners in the inning.
Clarkdale added a pair of insurance runs in the top of the seventh. Morgan Wright reached on a fielder's choice and scored on a single by Stamm. Stamm came home on a passed ball.
Union threatened in the bottom of the seventh as Lindsey Cassel led off with a single and Lindsey Walker drew a walk.
Milling walked to temporarily load the bases, but Cassel came home when the catcher's ill-advised throw to third base sailed into left field.
After Howard got a 2-0 count on Morgan Breland with no outs, Roberson brought in Orr in relief and three batters later, the game was over.
Both teams had six hits. Stamm and Brandi Wright both had two singles for Clarkdale, while Brantley and Cassel both had two hits for Union.
Smith (11-3) took the loss. Union, 21-4, finished in third place in the division with two losses to Clarkdale and two to defending state champ Newton County.
Marty Stamper is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at mstamper@ themeridianstar.com.

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