LCHS girls stop Petal; land in 4A state finals

Published 5:00 am Thursday, October 23, 2003

MONTICELLO – Throughout the Class 4A South State slowpitchsoftball playoffs, the team that won the first game in thatbest-of-three went on to sweep the series in nearly all games. On arare occasion, a series went the full 3 games.

That was the case Tuesday night at Cougar Field, as the PetalLady Panthers and Lawrence County Lady Cougars battled for theSouth 4A championship.

The Lady Cougars would evoke the 10-rule in Game 1 (13-3) andGame 3 (10-0) to claim the South State championship over the LadyPanthers. Petal won the middle contest 4-3 over LawrenceCounty.

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Petal finishes their season at 26-7.

Lawrence County (31-4) advances the Class 4A State championshipseries, where they meet the New Hope Lady Trojans. The first pitchin the best-of-three is set for 11 a.m. Saturday, at the VA Fieldsin Jackson. Game 2 is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. If a third gamewere necessary, the first pitch would take place at 3 p.m.

The Lady Trojans (33-2) swept a pair of games from TishomingoCounty, winning 14-10 and 12-2 yesterday. New Hope defeatedLawrence County 6-2 in the Meridian Tournament in August.

“Both teams have gotten better since August,” said LawrenceCount coach Suzie Ward.

Lawrence Co. 13, Petal 3

Senior Stacy Smith authored the win for head coach Tarvey Wardand his wife/assistant coach Suzie Ward. Smith helped her cause atthe plate with home run.

Ashley Autman, Kelly Stokes and KeKe Slay had doubles for theLady Cougars. Autman and Emily Smith scored 3 runs apiece.

Lawrence County’s Kaila Givens hit a sacrifice fly in the bottomof the fifth, scoring pinch runner Desiree Banks, who was runningfor catcher Maygan McCloud.

Judy Barber suffered the loss for the Lady Panthers, who arecoached by Karen Arnold. Jill Wedgeworth and Kaci Mitchell had 2singles for Petal.

Petal 4, Lawrence Co. 3

Pitcher Brittany Inman picked up the win for the Lady Panthers,who were the designated home team for the second game.

Petal’s Shelly Berry singled, doubled and scored a run. Barberscored twice. Erin Cochran scored a run. Wedgeworth had 3singles.

“They (Petal) hit the ball hard,” said Coach Suzie Ward. “Theirdefense was outstanding.”

Stacy Smith suffered the loss for Lawrence County.

Autman, Emily Smith and Heather Sanders scored for the LadyCougars in the top of the sixth. Slay and Allie Williamson each hada pair of singles.

Lawrence Co. 10, Petal 0

“We just didn’t hit the ball,” said Coach Arnold. “We’re not useto hitting on a short field.” Arnold was referring to the 225-footdimensions at Cougar Field.

Lawrence County garnered a 9-0 lead after 1-complete inning,sending 15 batters to the plate. Autman scored twice and added apair of singles. Cori Walker tripled and singled.

In the third, Stacy Smith’s doubled scored Autman for the finalrun of the night.

“There were three different ballgames,” said Coach Tarvey Ward.”Petal has a real good team.”

Inman took the loss for Petal while Stacy Smith picked up thewin for Lawrence County.