Lady Panthers win South semis

Published 5:00 am Monday, October 18, 2004

Brookhaven and Petal met Saturday afternoon at the Hansel KingSportsplex in the semifinal round of the South State 4A slowpitchsoftball playoffs.

In a battle of red-clad Lady Panthers, the Lincoln Countians.took 2-of-3 from their Forrest County counterparts. Ole Brook tookthe opener 7-2. Petal returned the favor with a 13-5 win in Game 2.Brookhaven claimed the series with an 8-7 victory in 8 innings.

Ole Brook (28-5) advances to the South State 4A championshipseries Tuesday, where the Lady Panthers will meet East Central atHurley.

Petal, coached by Karen Arnold, finished its season at21-11.

Brookhaven 7, Petal 2

Ole Brook (27-4) got a pair of runs from Brittany Smith andAshley Sykes to garner a 2-0 lead in the first frame. Sykes added arun in the third, as Coach Lisa Covington’s squad extended theiradvantage to 3-0.

Petal (20-10), aided by 2 Ole Brook errors, cut their deficit toa single run at 2-0. Judy Barber and Kari Mitchell scored.

Covington’s ballclub added a pair of runs in the fifth and sixthinnings. Sykes highlighted the fifth with a 2-run homer, thatscored Smith.

Sykes led Brookhaven with a pair of singles, a homer, 3 runsscored and 2 RBIs. Smith, who picked up the win, singled and scoredtwice.

Petal was led by Barber, who singled, tripled and scored a run.Kaci Mitchell singled twice. Krystal Kirk tripled and singledtwice. Brittany Inmon suffered the loss.

Petal 13, Brookhaven 5

Brookhaven (27-5) was the designated visitor for Game 2. Theyopened the top of the first with a 2-0 lead. Leadoff hitter TaylorCrane and pitcher Brittany Smith scored.

Petal (21-10) erupted for 9 runs in the first, sending 14batters to the plate for a 9-2 cushion. Megan Walley had 2 singlesand scored twice in the inning, while Barber singled, doubled andscored a run. Morgan Speights singled, doubled, scored a run andhad 3 RBIs.

Brookhaven never recovered from the onslaught as Petal added 1run in the third and 3 in the sixth. Petal pounded 21 hits in thegame.

Barber led Coach Arnold’s squad with 2 singles, a double, atriple, 2 runs scored and 2 RBIs. Speights singled twice, doubledand scored 2 runs. Inmon authored the win.

Sykes paced Brookhaven with 3 singles. Kayla Prince singled andtripled. Kelly Vinson singled twice. Katie Smith had a pair ofsingles and a double. Brittany Smith suffered the loss forBrookhaven.

Brookhaven 8, Petal 7

Petal (21-11) opened the top of the first with a 1-0 lead, whenBarber scored on an error by Brookhaven.

Covington’s team claimed their first lead of the game in thebottom inning at 4-1. Crane, Brittany Smith, Sykes and ChristiMartin scored. Martin authored a 3-run homer in the inning.

Ole Brook (28-5) extended the lead to 7-2 in the third andfourth innings. Martin scored in the third, while Crane and Sykescrossed home plate in the fourth.

Petal clawed back to gain a 7-7 deadlock in the seventh. A 2-runtriple by Barber, that scored Danielle Stevens and Walley,highlighted the inning.

Sykes provided the game-winning hit in the bottom of the eighth.Lauren Smith reached on a single. One out later, Crane singled.After the second out, Sykes smashed a sharp single to the outfieldthat scored Smith for the game winner.

“All I was trying to do was hit the ball,” said a jubilant Sykesfollowing the game. “We wanted to win, to advance to the nextround.”

Sykes led the Brookhaven charge with 2 singles and 2 runsscored. Martin homered and singled. Brittany Smith picked up thewin.

“I am proud of my girls today,” said Covington. “We never gaveup. We beat a good team today.

Petal was led by Barber with a single, a pair of triples, 3 runsscored and 2 RBIs. Myeshia Myers homered.

“We had too many infield outs,” said Arnold. “We hit the ballhard. Brookhaven has a good team.”