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Lady Hornets rally past W. Lincoln

Loyd Star freshman pinch-hitter Raigan Smith smashed a walk-off, grand slam homer in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Lady Hornets a 13-10, come-from-behind win over the visiting West Lincoln Lady Bears Monday night.

     “I am very proud of the girls for fighting back,” said Loyd Star coach Jan Delaughter. “The momentum switched toward us as we battled back into the game in the fifth and it carried over to the seventh. We really needed this win. Hopefully this will motivate us to continue to get better at the plate.”

      The Lady Hornets (3-4) resume action Thursday as they prepare to visit the East Marion Lady Eagles. Junior varsity begins at 5 p.m., followed by the varsity.

     The Lady Bears (5-3) returns to action Friday, visiting Wesson to tangle with the Lady Cobras. Game time begins with the junior varsity at 5 p.m., followed by the varsity.

Loyd Star 13, West Lincoln 10

     Softball fans gathered to witness the third meeting between the schools in a two-week span.

     In the first inning, the Lady Bears came out on fire as they exploded for seven runs and continued to increase their lead to 9-1 by the fourth inning.

     In the bottom of the fourth, the Lady Hornets battled back into the contest as they managed to heat up their bats, while capitalizing on West Lincoln’s walks and errors to trim the lead to 9-8.

     In the sixth, West Lincoln managed to push across another run for a 10-8 lead.

     In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Lady Bears struggled to defend off the Lady Hornets’ late-inning rally. Loyd Star managed to push across one run to inch closer as West Lincoln held a 10-9 lead. The Lady Hornets continued to apply pressure as they loaded the bases with one out. Coach Delaughter elected to sub in right-handed hitter Raigan Smith for a key at bat and it paid off as she smashed a grand slam over the left-center fence.

     Kelsie McCullough was the winning pitcher for the Lady Hornets with three strikeouts, one walk, and one hit batter. Micah Redd absorbed the setback for the Lady Bears with no strikeouts and two walks. Malori Hall (1K, 2BB) pitched some relief in the middle innings.

     Lauren Norton directed the Lady Hornets at the plate with a double and a single. Hannah Smith and Julie Smith contributed two singles apiece. Hitting safely were Lexie Butler, Ali Gartman, Haley Smith and Anna Grace Cupit.

     Redd was the offensive leader for the Lady Bears with a double and three singles. Hall provided two doubles. Marisa Pruski and Peyton White contributed two singles apiece. Brianna Fauver, Katie Hester, Bentley Sills and Monica Ham ripped a double. Heather Moak hit safely.

     “This was a tough lost for the girls,” said West Lincoln coach Andrew Redd. “It is hard for a team to lose when you are leading by 10 runs and allow that team to scratch and claw back in to game and get the win. Overall, we have got to learn to end games when we have opposing teams on the ropes.”

     In JV action, the Lady Hornets defeated the Lady Bears 7-3. Lexie Butler collected the win for Loyd Star, tossing five strikeouts and 4 walks. Ashley Thomas suffered the setback for West Lincoln with one strikeout and three walks.

     The Lady Hornets got singles from Leslie Walker and Megan Norton.

     Lillianne Rushing paced the Lady Bears with a double. Hitting safely were Lexis Leggett and Millane Lewis.