Sykes slams door on Lady Hornets

Published 5:00 am Thursday, April 13, 2006

Locked in a tight pitching duel, Brookhaven’s Ashley Sykesdelivered the game-winning hit in the top of the sixth inning. Herline-drive, 2-RBI single off the upper level of signs in centerfield powered the Lady Panthers to a 2-0 Tuesday win over the hostLoyd Star Lady Hornets.

For Sykes and Ole Brook (15-7), the win avenged two earlierlosses to Loyd Star. On the mound, Sykes tossed a 2-hitter,striking out 3 batters and walking none.

Sykes said she heard a conversation between Loyd Star coach JanDelaughter and pitcher Aeriel Hunsucker as she prepared to take herat-bat. “I overheard Miss Jan say, ‘Pitch her high,” so I wasready. I like high pitches.”

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It was a flawless game on defense for both teams. “My defensewas good behind me,” said Sykes, one of four seniors on Coach LisaCovington’s squad.

Covington agreed. “It was a good win for our seniors. This wasour best defensive game of the year.”

Runners-up to Lawrence County in the Division 6-4A race,Covington’s Lady Panthers are at Division 8 champion Long BeachSaturday for the opening round of the state playoffs.

Loyd Star (15-8), fresh from winning the Division 6-2A title, ishome Saturday, hosting Enterprise-Clarke for a best-of-threeseries.

“That one inning was the difference,” said Delaughter.”Brookhaven got hits when they needed them.”

In the sixth, Ole Brook’s Terri Hodges led off with a single toleft field. Hannah Lowman followed with a single over second base.Sykes came to the plate and sent a Hunsucker pitch to theright-center field wall, scoring both runners.

Hunsucker, a sophomore, struck out 2 batters and walked none,allowing 6 hits. Sykes and Katie Stewart accounted for 4 of thosehits.

In the fifth, freshman Calleye Douglas beat out a ground ball todeep short but was unable to score. Hodges, playing shortstop,speared a line drive by Abby Delaughter to end the threat.

Junior Varsity Results

Loyd Star and Ole Brook battled to a 1-1 deadlock in the JVgame. Hodges struck out 6 batters and Brooke Delaughter fanned6.

Stewart, Kelsey Freeman and Courtney Moore singled for BHS.