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No. 1 New Hope topples Meridian

By By Ryan Satcher / staff writer
Sept. 25, 2002
New Hope showed why it's one of the best softball teams in the state as it came into Meridian and beat Meridian High School 11-1 on Tuesday night at Northeast Park.
The visitors scored five runs in the top of the sixth inning to take the run-rule victory over the Lady Wildcats.
New Hope jumped out to an early lead in the top of the first inning. Laura Lee Holman ripped a shot that was missed by the third baseman. Courtney Gordon followed with a rip by the first baseman. Gordon came all the way around for an inside-the-park two-run homer.
The Lady Wildcats hit the ball well in the bottom of the first, but the strong New Hope defense made three very good plays to sit down Meridian in order.
Meridian was able to put two runners on base in the second inning with only one out, but a double play ended the inning and the threat.
New Hope padded its lead with two runs in the third. Ashley Bush started the inning off with a triple. She scored when a liner by Holman was dropped by the second baseman. Holman later scored on a fielder's choice by Rachel Baucom to make the score 4-0.
The visitors also added two more runs in the fifth inning. Stacie West started the inning off with a single. Shakima Nicholson also singled to give New Hope runners at first and second. After a fielder's choice by Bush, Holman came through with a single to bring in a run. Carsheena Blanks made a great throw to third to get Bush out. Gordon followed with a double off the wall to bring in Holman and make the score 6-0.
The Lady Wildcats were able to score a run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Ashley Brown doubled and Ebonee Ball singled. Natalie Cole brought Brown in with a fielder's choice to make the score 6-1.
New Hope put the game away in the sixth inning. Baucom started the inning with a single and Jessica Hale followed with a walk. After a fielder's choice, Nikki Petty ripped a grounder that took a tough hop and got by the shortstop. Ginny Lowery walked to bring in a run. Adrienne Hinton followed with a sacrifice fly to bring in another run and make the score 8-1.
Another run scored when the third baseman for Meridian fielded a groundball and looked the runner back to second. Bush followed with an RBI single to make the score 10-1. After a single by Holman loaded the bases, the Lady Wildcats made an error on a groundball by Gordon to allow another run to score. Blanks made a great play on a long flyball by Jenna Hale to get the Lady Wildcats out of the inning.
Meridian was unable to score a run in the bottom of the sixth and New Hope took the 11-1 run-rule victory.
The loss drops the MHS to 12-8 on the season. The next games for the Lady Wildcats will come in the MCC Tournament to be held at Sammie Davidson Complex on Saturday.

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