New Hope turns back Lawrence Co. girls

Published 5:00 am Monday, October 22, 2007

JACKSON — The New Hope Lady Trojans defeated the LawrenceCounty Lady Cougars Saturday afternoon in a best of 3 series 2-1 atJackson’s VA Fields. With the win, the Lady Trojans won the MHSAAClass 4A state for a state record 10th time, 7 in the past 8years.

New Hope won both ends of the tripleheader 11-6 and 11-4. LCHScaptured the second game 4-3.

“This is what is expected of New Hope softball,” said LadyTrojan head coach Tabitha Beard. “We did not play as well as weshould, but we are happy to win the game.”

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Both teams combined for 39 runs, 78 base hits and 13 errors.Both teams were a bit sluggish in the starting game. The offensespicked up the pace, as the 3-game set continued.

New Hope 11, Lawrence Co. 6

The Lady Trojans (30-5) scored 4 runs each in the first 2innings. Nikki Brown scored a pair of runs during the early morningbarrage.

LCHS (24-9) cut the deficit in half at 8-4 in the second. Aidedby a Trojan error, runs were scored by DeeDee Walker, Kate Davis,Shelby Mitchell and Natalie Herrington.

In the third, Sage Mabile and Tyra Griffin had base hits. Bothrunners would later score on fielding errors by the New Hope.

“We were a little nervous in the opener,” said LCHS head coachJill Haney. “It took us a while to get going. We have to be able toscore runs with runners on base.”

Starks singled and doubled for the Lady Cougars. Anna Holley,Kristen Harvey and Nikki Brown had 4 singles apiece for the LadyTrojans.

Lawrence Co. 4, New Hope 3

LCHS (25-9) used a 4-run second to retake the lead at 4-1. KateDavis singled. Two batters later, Natalie Herrington singled.Catcher Kristen Sauls singled to score Davis. Bridgee Williamsreached on an error. Shaina Stark’s 3-run homer plated Sauls,Williams and Starks.

New Hope (30-6) scored single runs in the third and fourth. TheLady Cougars would keep the Lady Trojans at bay, with soundfundamental defense.

Deshuni Sanders led New Hope with a single and double. LCHS got2 singles, a homer, and 3 RBIs from Starks.

New Hope 11, Lawrence Co. 4

The Lady Cougars (25-10) opened the scoring the bottom of thefirst. Senior outfielder Shaina Starks homered to the deepest partof the 300-foot outfield for a 1-0 lead. The cushion was expandedto 2-0 in the second. Shelby Mitchell singled. Three batters later,pitcher Bridgee Williams’ single scored Mitchell.

The Lady Trojans (31-6) responded with a pair of runs in thesecond. Third baseman Kristen Harvey singled. First baseman ReaganAultman homered to score both runners.

LCHS plated two runs in the third to take a 4-2 lead. SageMabile tripled. Two batters later, Ali Harris’ single drove homeMabile. With 2 outs, senior second baseman Kate Davis’ base hitscored Harris.

Errors would play a vital part in the game’s final outcome.

Beard’s crew would put 7 runs (4 unearned) on the board in thefinal 2 innings. New Hope was aided by 3 LCHS miscues.

“The errors hurt towards the end of the game,” said Haney. “Westarted slow this morning, but we picked it up as the day wenton.”

Aultman led New Hope with 2 homers, 2 singles, 3 runs scored and4 RBIs. Starks paced LCHS with a homer, a single, a run and aRBI.

“I am proud of the girls,” Coach Haney commented. “We playedwith New Hope today. They have a good team.”

Lawrence County also made an appearance in the 2002 4A titlegame but fell to New Hope.