No. 4 ranked Lady Cougars blank Neshoba
By By Marty Stamper/The Meridian Star
Aug. 25, 2001
DECATUR – The Newton County Lady Cougars started the 2001 slow-pitch softball season ranked fourth in the state.
Where they'll wind up is anybody's guess, but when they're on, the Lady Cougars can be a pretty formidable foe.
The Lady Cougars struck for eight runs and 10 hits in their final two innings in Friday night's 10-0 blanking of Neshoba Central, snapping the Lady Rockets' four-game win streak.
Newton County improved to 5-0, while Neshoba dropped to 4-6.
Newton County struck for two runs in the bottom of the first inning. Kristin Chaney reached on an error and scored on Shelly Ferguson's triple to left field. Ferguson scored on a sacrifice fly by Joy Cavenaugh.
Chaney, who went 1-for-3 with an infield hit, also reached base twice on errors thanks to her speed.
Neshoba pitcher Ashley Johnson had the Lady Cougars hitting fly balls for the next two innings. In fact, Newton County's first 11 outs came on fly balls.
Senior first baseman Betsy Clark led off the bottom of the fifth with a double to left field to spark a three-run inning. Kristal Burton followed with an RBI-single. Suzanne Chaney and Krissi Harris had singles in the inning with Harris' hit driving in courtesy runner Lindsey Little.
Newton County put the game away with five runs in the bottom of the sixth. Ferguson, who went 3-for-3, led off with a single. Cavenaugh and Dominique Mapp followed with singles. Clark reached on an error and Suzanne Chaney's single gave the Lady Cougars an 8-0 lead. Harris added her second RBI-single before pinch hitter Jessica Sheehan ended the game with a run-scoring single.
In addition to Ferguson's 3-for-3 night, Harris and Suzanne Chaney both went 2-for-3 for the Lady Cougars, who were the state runner-up to West Lauderdale in Class 3A last year.
Suzanne Chaney was the winning pitcher, scattering four singles. Neshoba got its first two runners aboard to start the game, but three fly balls ended that threat. The Lady Rockets' only other threat came in the second inning, but was snuffed by a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.
Newton County hits the road today to play at Madison Central (2:45 p.m.) and Brandon (6 p.m.). Neshoba's next action is today in the Meridian Invitational. The Lady Rockets begin play at 9 a.m. against Seminary. They will also face Meridian and Choctaw Central.
Newton County head coach Mack Fanning was honored for recording his 300th slow-pitch victory prior to Friday's game with Neshoba Central. More on Fanning's milestone win and career will be in Sunday's edition.
Marty Stamper is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 693-1551 ext. 3234.