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Givens gives softball best shot at Lawrence County

Amanda Givens has played her share of slowpitch softball gamesover the years. In her senior year at Lawrence County, Givens wasinstrumental in the Lady Cougars advancing to the Final Four of theClass 4A state playoffs.

Givens, a speedster on the base paths and a defensive whiz inleft-center field, batted .559 as a senior. For her performance,she has been selected The Daily Leader’s All-AreaSlowpitch Softball Player of the Year for the 2001 season.

Joining Givens on the Dream Team is senior teammate RobbiDampier at shortstop. Other infielders are Ginny Dunaway ofBrookhaven, Jessica Melton of Bogue Chitto and Dana King of WestLincoln.

Givens in joined in the outfield by Lacey Palomarez ofEnterprise, Randi Moak of Bogue Chitto and Brittany Alexander ofNorth Pike.

Catchers are Maggie Johnson of Wesson, Holli Bass of WestLincoln and Chiquita Rancifer of Brookhaven. Pitchers are HannahRoberts of West Lincoln, Mandy Vinson of Brookhaven and Kia Porterof Bogue Chitto.

A southpaw, Givens bats right-handed. She made the move fromleft field to left-center during the season and gave the LadyCougars a boost on defense.

“Amanda is an all-around player,” said Lawrence County coachPatsy Sandifer, the DL’s All-Area Coach of the Year. “She’s veryfast and she’s a hustler.

“When we moved her to left-center, we became a stronger team,”Sandifer pointed out. “She gives it all she’s got.”

Sandifer recalled the Northeast Lauderdale state playoffsemifinals when Givens used her explosive speed. “One of ourbatters flied out but Amanda was able to score from firstbase.”

An honor roll student, Givens achieves straight A’s in theclassroom. She is ranked 13th in the senior class of 136students.

Asked about her favorite subject, Givens said, “I like historythe most.” She plans to enter the x-ray technician program atCopiah-Lincoln Community College next fall.

“I loved playing softball at LCHS,” said Givens. “We had a bunchof good players and I made a bunch of good friends..”

A 2-time all-state tournament selection, she is the daughter ofWally and Peggy Givens. She has two younger sisters, 14-year-oldKaila, a member of the LCHS squad; and 9-year-old Macy.

Lacey Palomarez, a senior outfielder for the Enterprise LadyYellow Jackets, batted .453 this season. She was batting .667 untila shoulder injury slowed her performance. Coach Steve Sasser’s LadyJackets finished 11-6 and were third in the Division 7-1A race.

Randi Moak, a junior outfielder for the Bogue Chitto LadyBobcats, batted .481, helping them to a 25-4 record and thequarterfinals of the Class 1A state playoffs.

Brittany Alexander, a sophomore left-center fielder, batted .511for Coach Sonya Wallace’s Lady Jaguars. She hit 8 home runs and 4triples.

Ginny Dunaway, a senior second baseman, helped lead theBrookhaven Lady Panthers to the Division 6-4A championship and thesecond round of the state playoffs. She batted .412 for Coach LisaCovington.

Jessica Melton, a junior shortstop, batted .448 for CoachAdrianne Albritton’s Lady Bobcats who won the Division 7-1Atitle.

Dana King, a junior shortstop, batted .520 for West Lincoln’sLady Bears, leading them to a runners-up finish in the Division7-1A race. She hit 4 homers for Coach Andrew Redd’s team as theyfinished 23-10.

Robbi Dampier, a senior shortstop, batted .440 for the LadyCougars as they posted a 21-9 record.

Marquita Ratcliff, a senior third baseman from Bogue Chitto, isthe dream team’s extra hitter. Her .520 batting average led theLady Bobcats at the plate.

Samantha Boutwell, a junior first baseman for Brookhaven, batted.459 and is the team’s utility player.

Hannah Roberts, a junior pitcher for West Lincoln, posted a23-10 record for the Lady Bears.

Mandy Vinson, a junior hurler, posted a 17-14 record for the BHSLady Panthers. She batted .326.

Kia Porter, a sophomore pitcher, chalked up a 25-4 record forthe Lady Bobcats.

Brooke Nelson, a junior pitcher, compiled a 21-9 record forLawrence County.

Chiquita Rancifer, a sophomore catcher, batted .329 forBrookhaven.

Holli Bass, a senior catcher, batted .533 for West Lincoln.

Maggie Johnson, a senior catcher, batted .535 for Coach LaneYoung’s Lady Cobras (14-15). They won the Division 6-2A title andadvanced to the semifinals of the South State playoffs.

HONORABLE MENTION WITH DISTINCTION

Bogue Chitto: Amanda Wallace, Meleah Brown, Tracy Wallace.

Brookhaven: Devine Porter, Shamika Gilmore, Megan Bateman,Ashley Sykes, Cortney Fielder.

Enterprise: Ashley Palomarez, Emily Smith, Nikki Leggett.

Lawrence County: Stacy Smith, Ashley Autman, Ashley Davis, AllieWilliamson.

North Pike: Heather Williams.

Wesson: Millie Smith, Brittany Smith, Haley Carr, Anna Johnson,Caron Brister, Brittany King.

West Lincoln: Jennifer Richardson, Christy Lindigrin, ChastityAvants, Lauren Smith.