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Instant replay would please Lady Cougars

By By Marty Stamper / EMG sports assistant
Aug. 15, 2002
If the 2002 slow-pitch softball season goes like the 2001 season went, it will be just fine with the Newton County Lady Cougars.
When you go 34-3 and win a state championship, there isn't a whole lot of room for improvement. Newton County won the Class 3A state championship last fall with the three losses coming to Class 4A state champion New Hope, Class 3A third-place finisher West Lauderdale, and Class 5A state runner-up Northwest Rankin.
Departed from the 2001 team are first baseman Betsy Clark (.570, 47 RBI), second baseman Krissi Harris (.395, 34 RBI), and catcher/extra hitter Kristal Burton (.420, 27 RBI).
Back are senior shortstop Kristin Chaney (.475, 30 RBI), senior pitcher Suzanne Chaney (.520, 36 RBI), senior outfielders Lauren Barrett, Obreisha Davis, Shelly Ferguson (.450, 42 RBI), and Holly Jackson (.410, 21 RBI); junior outfielder Dominique Mapp (.360, 41 RBI), junior third baseman Joy Cavenaugh (.491, 41 RBI), and junior catcher Jennifer Smith.
On the mound, Suzanne Chaney had a 34-3 record with 11 shutouts and 24 games in which she allowed two runs or less. She was selected the MVP of the USSSA 16-under World Tournament this summer.
The Lady Cougars open their season Friday with Enterprise and Union both coming to Decatur. Most teams started their seasons either on Monday or Tuesday.
Playing for the Structural Steel Heartbreakers, the Newton County girls won three 16-under state championships (ASA, NSA, and USSSA) and one national championship (USSSA). They placed second in the NSA nationals and third in the ASA nationals en route to a 49-8 summer.
As for bettering the 2001 record, Fanning knows that may not be possible, although it will be a team goal.
Newton County competes in Division 5-3A with West Lauderdale, Philadelphia, Southeast Lauderdale, Choctaw Central, Carthage, and Heidelberg.
Visitors to Lady Cougar Field will have the benefit of a roof over their stands along with the home side this fall.