Lady Wolves whip Hinds

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, May 6, 2008

CLINTON — The No. 8-nationally ranked Co-Lin Lady Wolvesentered the championship game of the NJCAA Region 23 SoftballTournament today after beating the Hinds Lady Eagles 8-3 Saturdayafternoon.

Co-Lin (30-10) plays for the title at 3 p.m. against the winnerof the 1 p.m. game between Hinds (33-19) and Gulf Coast.

Sophomore shortstop Ashley Sykes started the Co-Lin scoring inthe bottom of the first inning with her first home run of the year,a blast off the left field scoreboard with 2 out. Co-Lin led Hinds1-0.

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Hinds came back in the top of the third to tie the game at 1-alloff of 2 infield singles, an error and a bases loaded walk.

In the top of the third with 2 out, Co-Lin first baseman RebeccaRousseau reached first on a bunt single. Sykes singled to left andsecond baseman Kayla Crochet singled to center, driving in Rousseaufor a 2-1 lead.

Fourth-inning action saw Co-Lin’s third baseman Meleah Brownsingle and steal second. Paulina drilled a double off the fence incenter, plating Brown. Becca Boone singled to center and stolesecond. Left fielder Candace Avants smoked a triple down the rightfield line for 2 RBIs. Emily Langley doubled to center, drivinghome Avants. With 1 out, Sykes connected for her third hit of thegame, chasing Hinds pitcher Brandi Westerfield.

Crochet greeted the new pitcher with a single to center to scoreLangley. It was Crochet’s third single of the game and gave theLady Wolves a 7-1 lead.

Hinds scratched solo run in the fifth to trim Co-Lin’s lead to7-2.

In the bottom of the fifth, Paulina drew a base on balls.Chelsey Miller was inserted as a pinch runner and promptly stolesecond and third base. With 2 outs, Langley doubled to left centerto score Miller and push Co-Lin ahead 8-2.

Becca Bailey (17-4) posted the win, going 5 innings with 1earned run allowed on 4 hits. She struck out 5 and walked 1.

Crochet took over for the final 2 innings and picked up thesave. She allowed 2 hits and 1 earned run, struck out 1 and walked1.

“It was a big win for us,” said Co-Lin head coach Allen Kent.”Hinds is a solid team. Bailey didn’t have her best stuff today,but our offense picked us up.

Sykes’ home run, two singles and two RBIs paced the attack.Crochet had 3 singles and an RBI. Langley doubled twice for 2RBIs.

“Hopefully, the fatigue factor should go our way,” added Kent.”Gulf Coast and Hinds will have played four games in three daysbefore we play our third game of the tournament today.”