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Lady Wolves sweep Shelton State

CO-LIN MEDIA / NATALIE DAVIS / Co-Lin's Breanna McKenzie slides safely into home plate as Shelton State catcher waits on the throw Tuesday.

CO-LIN MEDIA / NATALIE DAVIS / Co-Lin’s Breanna McKenzie slides safely into home plate as Shelton State catcher waits on the throw Tuesday.

WESSON -The Copiah Lincoln Lady Wolves swept a double header from the Shelton State Lady Buccaneers in dramatic fashion on Tuesday in Wesson. Strong pitching and spectacular defense propelled Co-Lin to a 1-0 victory in Game 1. In Game 2 it was timely hitting that pushed the Lady Wolves past Shelton, 4-1.

Co-Lin 1, Shelton State 0 

The Lady Wolves (8-5) were looking for payback against a Shelton State (6-3) team that swept them in Tuscaloosa on Friday, Feb. 21.

Co-Lin would plate their lone run of the game in the bottom of the 1st when Payton Sheffield was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. That would force Co-Lin’s Brooke Laigast home and would prove to be all that Lady Wolves pitcher Brooke Gonzales would need.

Gonzales, a sophomore product of Live Oak High School (La.), gave up eight hits, but saw her teammates play strong defense behind her all game long. Left fielder Kayla Craft made several big plays to stymie Lady Buc scoring opportunities. In the 5th, she gunned down Mallory Malone at home plate to end the inning. In the 6th, she ran full speed into the foul territory fencing to track down another put-out. She fittingly made the final out of the game on a sprinting catch that ended with her nearly colliding with Co-Lin shortstop Savanah Johnson.

“Brooke hurled a gem today,” said Lady Wolves head coach Allen Kent. “She gives us a chance to win every time she is in the circle and today she beat a very good Shelton team.”

Co-Lin 5, Shelton State 4 

In their previous meeting the Lady Wolves lost a close first game to Shelton before falling apart in a 12-0 blowout of game two. The difference this time was a strong pitching performance throughout by the Lady Wolves staff.

Starter Rheagen Welch pitched 4.1 innings and gave up three runs on seven hits while striking out two. She was relieved by southpaw Payton Sheffield (1-1) who gained the win by pitching two scoreless innings. Gonzales came in and got the save by striking out two in the top of the 7th.

Co-Lin got on the scoreboard first when Brooke Laigast blasted an RBI single that scored Kayla Craft in the bottom of the 2nd. Shelton would subsequently tie it in the top of the 3rd. It would stay tied until the top of the 5th when Shelton scored two more runs to take a 3-1 lead.

The bottom of the 5th was when the Lady Wolves made their move. Savannah Johnston reached first on an error to start the inning. The next hit for Co-Lin was another bobbled ball for Shelton State that allowed Laigast to gain first and Johnston to advance to second. Designated hitter Breanna McKenzie would come up big with a two RBI double to score Johnston and Laigast and tie the game at three. McKenzie would subsequently move to third base on a sacrifice bunt by Hannah Roberts and then score on a wild pitch by Shelton State.

Another Co-Lin run in the bottom of the 6th pushed their lead to 5-3 and that would be the deficit Gonzales would inherit when she came in to make her second relief appearance of the season. Gonzales gave up two doubles and one run in the inning, but the 2013 All-State pitcher struck out Allie Stocking to end the game with the tying run stranded on second base.

“This was the best we’ve played all season. I was very pleased with our pitching and it’s a great way for us to finish our non-division play,” said Kent.

Kent and the Lady Wolves begin MACJC South Division play when they travel to Gulf Coast on Saturday, March 1 for a doubleheader beginning at 12 p.m.

DAILY LEADER / NATALIE DAVIS / Co-Lin pitcher Rheagan Welch delivers her pitch against Shelton State in softball action Tuesday.

CO-LIN MEDIA / NATALIE DAVIS / Co-Lin pitcher Rheagan Welch delivers her pitch against Shelton State in softball action Tuesday.