Lady Panthers rally to beat D’Iberville in first round

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, October 17, 2001

A cold, northerly wind caused shivers and brought stark realityto Brookhaven’s Lady Panthers Tuesday night in the opening round ofthe Class 4A state slowpitch softball playoffs. D’Iberville’s LadyWarriors had just won the opener of the best-of-three series, 9-6,at the Sports Complex and the Lady Panthers had their backs to thewall.

Brookhaven responded in championship fashion, beatingD’Iberville 10-7 and 8-4 in the second and third games last night.The Lady Panthers (17-12) celebrated on the infield last night andbegan making plans for Saturday’s second round when they travel toNortheast Lauderdale. The first game begins at 1 p.m.

Lawrence County (19-7), runner-up to Brookhaven in the Division6-4A race, also posted a comeback victory last night, beatinghighly-rated George County at Lucedale. The Lady Rebels took theopener 8-0 but Lawrence County won the second game 17-16 in 9innings and the finale 8-3. Lawrence County hosts FlorenceSaturday, starting at 3 p.m.

“We played with a lot of heart,” said Brookhaven head coach LisaCovington, reviewing her team’s comeback. “We could have foldedafter the first game but we showed a lot of heart coming back likewe did.”

In the opener, Brookhaven starting catcher Chuvaqua Smith wasinjured when a D’Iberville batter accidentally hit Smith on theshoulder with her bat. Smith was forced to leave the game andLizzie Wilson replaced her behind the plate. Smith later returnedfor the second and third games.

Mandy Vinson pitched all three games for Brookhaven. She avoideda pair of D’Iberville rallies in Game 3 when the Lady Warriorstwice loaded the bases in the early innings.

“Mandy overcame the elements,” said Covington. “It was cold outthere on the mound.”

Brookhaven 8, D’Iberville

4

The two teams battled through three scoreless innings beforeBrookhaven exploded for 6 runs in the bottom of the fourth. GinnyDunaway reached on a throwing error and Samantha Boutwell providedan RBI single up the middle, driving in Brookhaven’s first run.Shamika Gilmore singled down the right field line and it was2-0.

With the bases loaded, Vinson helped her cause with a line driveoff the right arm of D’Iberville southpaw pitcher Amanda Jarrett.Two more runs raced home and it was 4-0.

Gilmore came charging home and ran over D’Iberville catcherKelli Blackman for a 6-0 lead. Megan Bateman’s singled made it8-zip.

The Lady Warriors rallied for 2 runs in the fifth, making it6-2.

Brookhaven second baseman Ginny Dunaway hit a sharp single toleft which got past the outfielder and she circled the bases,scoring Cortney Fielder and making it 8-2.

In the seventh, Gilmore ran down 2 D’Iberville fly balls nearthe line to get the first 2 outs. The last out was a force atsecond which drew a heated argument from the D’Iberville fans.

Boutwell’s double and single led Brookhaven in scoring. Batemanand Vinson singled twice.

D’Iberville (18-11) got 3 singles from second baseman KrisMorris. Centerfielder Rachel Hellis doubled and singled.

Brookhaven 10, D’Iberville 7

Senior Devine Porter slugged an inside-the-park homer to leadBrookhaven over D’Iberville in he second game. Dunaway chipped in 4singles. JaRonda Moore singled and tripled. Bateman doubled andsingled. Vinson had 2 singles.

D’Iberville 9, Brookhaven 6

Two doubles and a single by Boutwell led Brookhaven in theopener. Vinson collected 3 singles. Gilmore singled twice.