Defense leads Clarkdale to 2A state championship
By By Jeff Byrd / staff writer
Nov. 1, 2002
JACKSON The shaving cream flowed freely.
Lathered in the cream, much like the way they covered the outfield in Thursday's State 2A Championship series, were Clarkdale's Jor'Dan Orr and Emily Howard.
The pair helped turn two of the biggest defensive plays in a defensive-minded 4-3 championship game for the State 2A Slow-pitch title here at the V.A. Fields at Legion Park.
Orr's bullet throw home from left-center in the top of the sixth prevented a would-be tying run by Mooreville from scoring.
Howard then accounted for the final two outs in the seventh, the last coming on an over-the-shoulder basket catch near the left field line. The grab sealed up this 2A title and erased a bitter taste of the one that got away last year on this same field.
The outfield of Orr, Howard, Savannah Satcher and Bethany Spidle helped make the 4-3 lead hold. Collectively, the group accounted for nine of the Mooreville outs.
Both Clarkdale head coach Rick Roberson and Mooreville's Rex Berryman said that defense was the difference.
Mooreville saw its defense essentially cost them the first game, 14-11. The Lady Troopers made nine errors in the opener and the extra at bats allowed Clarkdale to get comfortable at the plate setting up a six-run fifth that blew the game open.
The at-bat Berryman said sank his team came in the third. Leading 3-2, Amber Farris doubled putting runners on third and second. Kelly Hanleins, who had a two-run triple to key the 3-run first, was walked loading the bases.
Candy Shumpert then hit a pop-up in the infield. Clarkdale's Megan Potate caught it and then tagged out Farris who had strayed too far off second. Amy Gregory then flied out to end the inning with no runs scored.
Clarkdale would tie it at 3-3 in the fourth when Satcher singled and then scored off a double by Kaylea Thrash.
Another Mooreville bases-loaded situation faded in the fifth when Orr caught the third out. Clarkdale then grabbed the lead in the bottom half of the fifth.
Brandi Wright walked and then scored on Potate's triple that sailed over the outfielders heads in right-center.
In the sixth, Mooreville got a two-out pinch-hit single but runner Elizabeth Mitchell was cut down at the plate by Orr's throw.
In the seventh, Mooreville's top hitter in Farris sent a sharp diving fly ball that Howard caught for the third out. It robbed Farris of her fourth hit of the game and sixth of the series.
Clarkdale had 11 hits in game two and 16 in game one. Satcher was the leader in the second game with two hits, two runs and a RBI that came in the second inning.
Clarkdale scored all 14 of its runs over three at bats in game one.
Mooreville went out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second but the Lady Bulldogs answered with four runs in the third and fourth to take an 8-3 lead.
Mooreville pulled back to within a run at 8-7 with a four-run fourth. The Lady Bulldogs, though, scored six runs in the fifth off seven hits.
Nine of the 10 players in the Clarkdale lineup had a hit. Orr led the way going 3-for-5 with three runs and three RBIs. She drove in runs off triples in both the third and fourth innings.
Brandi Wright was 2-for-5 and drove in two. Potate was 2-for-4 with a RBI in the fifth. Satcher had a two-run hit in the third and finished with three RBI in game one.
Casey Meador had two hits and two runs while Spidle was 3-for-4 with two runs scored.
Hanleins led Mooreville, 27-9, with a three-run triple in the seventh that cut a 14-8 lead to 14-11. Mitchell ended 4-for-4 with three runs scored and two RBI.