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Sykes leads Lady Panthers with homer, pitching effort

Senior pitcher Ashley Sykes had a big night in a big game forthe host Lady Panthers at Martin Field Monday night. Sykes hurled a3-hitter and smashed a 2-run home run to lead Ole Brook to a 3-1win over the Terry Lady Bulldogs in varsity fastpitch softballaction.

Brookhaven, coached by Lisa Covington, improved to 14-7 on theseason and 7-1 in Division 6-4A. Terry fell to 11-14 on the seasonand 4-3 in division action.

Terry travels to Monticello tonight to face Lawrence County in akey division matchup. BHS and Lawrence County are currently tiedfor first place in the division race.

The Lady Panthers travel to Loyd Star tonight for a non-divisiondoubleheader. The junior varsity game begins at 5 p.m. followed bythe varsity at 6.

Earlier in the season, Brookhaven defeated Terry 1-0 atTerry.

The state playoffs begin Saturday for all divisions.

Sykes (14-6) finished the game with 8 strikeouts, no walks andno hit batters.

“I was just happy to hit it,” smiled an exhausted but happySykes after the win. At the time, Brookhaven led 1-0 when shesmacked the 2-run shot that put them up 3-0 in the bottom of thefifth inning.

“It was a lot of relief hitting the 2-run homer,” explainedSykes. The homer gave the Lady Panthers a 3-0 lead and morebreathing room on the mound as the pitcher.

Sykes felt her fastball was working well as was herchangeup.

Covington said she was pleased with Sykes and the team’sperformance. “Ashley really had a great game. She was on tonight.We played a good defensive ball game. We made some clutchplays.”

Brookhaven struck in the first inning for a 1-0 lead. With oneout, Hannah Lowman bunted to first base, then stole second.Brittany Smith smashed a hard double down the third base line toscore Lowman.

The Lady Panthers would not score again until the bottom of thefifth. Terri Hodges led off with a single, then move to second onLowman’s bunt and third base on a passed ball. Sykes cracked the2-run homer for the 3-0 lead and eventual win.

Adding support to the Brookhaven win with a triple and a singlewas Sabrina Delaughter. Kelly Vinson singled twice. Hodges added asingle. Katie Smith and Katie Stewart singled.

Absorbing the loss was Angie Weed (9-9) with 3 runs allowed on10 hits, 1 strikeout, 1 walk and 1 hit batter.

For Terry. Lauren Rasberry doubled. Brittany Hutchins andSamantha Smith hit safely.

Junior varsity action

The JV Lady Panthers (15-1) knocked off the Lady Bulldogs 4-0.Hodges got the win.