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Lady Hornets blank Brook

HURLEY — All good things must come to an end. For the Ole BrookLady Panthers, their slowpitch softball season was halted in theSouth State 4A championship series in Jackson County.

East Central’s Lady Hornets authored a pair of shutout wins overthe Lady Panthers Tuesday evening. The Lady Hornets claimed GameOne 7-0 and the nightcap 1-0.

East Central advances to the Class 4A State championship seriesSaturday morning, to meet New Hope at the VA Fields in Jackson. NewHope swept Amory 8-1 and 9-3 Tuesday night.

Brookhaven, the 2004 Division 6-4A champions, concluded anoutstanding season at 28-7.

“You cannot win, if you do not hit the ball,” said Lady Pantherhead coach Lisa Covington.

Despite the losses, Covington praised her ballclub for theireffort this season.

“I am extremely proud of the girls,” added Covington. “We had anoutstanding run this season.”

East Central 7, Brookhaven 0

East Central (13-9 No. 4 in Reg. 8) limited Brookhaven to 5 hitsin the opener. Lauren Harger authored the win for the Lady Hornets.Harger aided her cause at the plate, with a pair of triples, asingle, 2 runs scored and 2 RBIs.

“Our defense has been our strong point all year,” said EastCentral head coach Karen Box. “Our hitting has been up and down. Itis starting to come around.”

The Lady Hornets got on the board in the bottom of the second.Desiree Truett tripled. Katie Jones’ RBI single scored Truett for a1-0 East Central lead.

Harger and Truett plated runs in the fourth to extend the LadyHornet cushion to 3-0. Christy Lyon, Kaci Williams and Hargerscored in the fifth. Jones added a run in the sixth to close outthe scoring.

Brookhaven (28-6) got singles from Taylor Crane, AllysonWallace, Christi Martin and Kelly Vinson. Ashley Sykes doubled.Pitcher Brittany Smith suffered the loss.

East Central 1, Brookhaven 0

The Lady Hornets (14-9), the designated visitor for Game 2, gotall the runs they needed in the top of the first. East Centralleft-centerfielder and Lincoln County native Kaci Williams reachedon a 2-base error. Harger’s double moved Williams to third. WhitneyMelton’s sacrifice fly scored Williams.

“I was really excited about this game,” said Williams. “We knewthat we had to beat them (Brookhaven) to get to the finals.”

The Lady Panthers (28-7) managed only 7 hits in the game.Christi Martin led the way with a pair of singles. Also collectingsingles were Brittany Smith, Ashley Sykes, Allyson Wallace, KaylaPrince and Kelly Vinson. Smith suffered the loss, striking out3.

Ole Brook losses 5 seniors in starters Vinson, Prince, Crane,Wallace and reserve Casi Langston.

“These seniors will be missed,” said Covington.