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Lady Gators chomp Ole Brook

Freshman Adrianna Morgan lived up to her pregame hype. The hard-throwing right-hander authored a 2-hit shutout and the Lady Gators gobbled up the Lady Panthers of Brookhaven 12-0 in 5-innings Friday at the BHS Softball Complex in the second round of the MHSAA Class 5A State playoffs.

Morgan, who received a scholarship offer from Memphis University, has made a verbal commitment to sign with the Lady Tigers in three years.

The best-of-three series continues Monday at Lake Cormorant, starting at 2 p.m. If a third game is necessary, it will immediately follow Game 2 after a 30-minute break.

Morgan struck out 6 batters and walked 2 as the Lady Gators raised their record to 23-5 on the season. They were North State runners-up to New Hope last season.

“Adrianna had an off night and she didn’t pitch her best,” observed LC head coach Nikki Beal. “I’m just blessed when it comes to pitchers.”

Beal, realizing her 97th win in 4 years of varsity coaching, started the fastpitch program when the school was opened 6 years ago. She is a Southaven High School graduate.

She said she plans to start senior Jessica Holliday in Monday’s game. Holliday has signed with Blue Mountain College.

The Lady Panthers (15-11), runners-up to McComb in the region race, didn’t have their best game against Lake Cormorant. They committed 7 errors and fell behind 5-0 in the top of the first inning.

The Lady Gators finished with 7 hits. Holiday singled and doubled. Lexi Winters singled twice.

Ole Brook coach Chad Walker said he was disappointed with the setback. “We made them (Gators) look better. We made too many mistakes early and couldn’t climb out of the hole. With that many walks and errors, you can’t win.”

Walker complimented Morgan’s performance in the circle. “Their pitcher was good. She had good control and we struggled with her rise ball. We made here look good, too.”

Freshman Katherine Shell absorbed the loss for Brookhaven. She struck out 1 batter, walked 4 and allowed 7 hits.

The Lady Panthers got a first-inning bunt for a single by Shelby Peavey. Taylor Murray hit an opposite field single in the fourth. Not one BHS runner managed to reach third base as the Gators played flawless defense and turned a double play in the third.

Due to the major threat of heavy rain, Game 2 was postponed until Monday. It will mean a 5-hour bus ride for the BHS team.