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Big inning hands South State title to WL Lady Knights

By Staff
IN THE MIDDLE – Newton County's Lindsey Little is safe at home against West Lauderdale's Emily Jo Havard as umpire Jimmie Cessna prepares to make the close call. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Marty Stamper / EMG sports assistant
Oct. 23, 2002
To win a high school state championship in slow-pitch softball, you have to be at your best in October. West Lauderdale's Lady Knights had their best inning of the year in taking an 8-7 win over Newton County in the third game of their best-of-three series Tuesday at Collinsville for the Class 3A South State championship.
The state powers split the first two games with the defending 3A state champion Lady Cougars taking a 5-3 win in the opener and West pulling even with an 8-4 victory in the second game.
The 27-7 Lady Knights will face Kossuth, a 7-3 and 14-4 North State winner over Nettleton, for the 3A state title Saturday in Jackson. The Lady Aggies are 29-6.
Newton County jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first inning and a half of the third game before West struck for seven runs on seven hits and three Lady Cougar errors in the bottom of the second inning.
Kirby Rutledge and Jessica Moore had RBI-singles, but the big blow was a three-run double in the right field corner by Amy Frazier, who is 16-for-27 (.593) in the playoffs.
Newton County scored four runs in the top of the first with Dominique Mapp, Joy Cavenaugh, and Holly Jackson hitting RBI-singles. Sylendria Johnson had a sacrifice fly. Two runners were left on base. For the series, the Lady Cougars stranded 27.
Johnson singled home Cavenaugh in the top of the sixth to tie the game at 7-7.
In the bottom of the seventh, Frazier and Holly Herrington singled with Katie Moulds' double to the wall in center field chasing home Frazier with the winning run just ahead of the throw to the plate.
Herrington and Moulds were both 3-for-4 for West. Frazier, Moore, and Sommer Jones each had two of West's 15 hits.
Newton County, 30-6, had 11 hits with Cavenaugh going 2-for-3.
Kristina Gardner (27-7) got the win with Suzanne Chaney (21-5) taking the loss.
Newton County 5
West Lauderdale 3
The Lady Cougars scored twice in the first and fifth frames in winning the opener. Jennifer Smith's two-run double in the fifth extended Newton County's lead to 5-0.
West got three runs in the bottom of the sixth with Frazier ripping a two-run triple and scoring on a single by Gardner.
Newton County outhit West 11-10. Mapp, Cavenaugh, Smith, and Johnson each had two hits for the Lady Cougars, while Frazier, Herrington, and Moulds had two hits apiece for the Lady Knights.
Chaney got the win with Gardner taking the loss.
West Lauderdale 8
Newton County 4
The Lady Knights took advantage of six Newton County errors, a 3-for-4 effort from Frazier, and a two-run homer from J.J. Huggins to win the second game.
West scored two runs in the second and seventh innings and got three runs in the sixth. A two-run triple by Courtney Godwin to right field gave the Lady Knights a 6-4 lead in the top of the sixth. A double by Moulds in the seventh drove in a pair of insurance runs.
Godwin and Moulds both had two hits for West, while Cavenaugh's 3-for-3 effort led Newton County. Chaney, Jackson, and Johnson each had two hits as Newton County had a slim 13-12 hits advantage.
Gardner got the win with Chaney taking the loss.