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Lady Hornets warm up for post season with wins over E. Marion, Cathedral

DAILY LEADER / SCOTT BOYD / Loyd Star Lady Hornet Johnna Norman slides into third base during Tuesday night's win over visiting East Marion.

DAILY LEADER / SCOTT BOYD / Loyd Star Lady Hornet Johnna Norman slides into third base during Tuesday night’s win over visiting East Marion.

Loyd Star’s Lady Hornets got warmed up for this weekend’s fastpitch softball playoffs with a pair of easy wins Tuesday.

The Lady Hornets, hosting a double-header, whipped East Marion and Cathedral to improve to 20-2 overall.

Loyd Star has earned a first round bye in the 2A playoffs Thursday, and is scheduled to play in the second round Friday against a yet-to-be announced opponent.

Coach Jan Delaughter’s girls, undefeated in district play at 8-0, are hoping for another 2A state title. They last won the championship back in 2009.

Loyd Star 15, East Marion 0 

It took the minimum three innings for the Lady Hornets to finish off East Marion, behind Ali Gartman’s pitching. She faced just 10 batters – one over the minimum. She had six strikeouts, with just one hit.

The Lady Hornets jumped out to a quick 8-0 lead in the first inning thanks in part to five walks. They scattered six hits during the game, with singles from Megan Norton, Lexie Butler, Ali Gartman, Abigail Thornton, Raigan Smith and Kelsie McCullough. East Marion also committed four costly errors.

Loyd Star 13, Cathedral 3 

The Lady Hornets had another big first inning in the nightcap, grabbing a quick 9-1 lead.

Kelsie McCullough picked up the win. She had one strikeout and gave up just two walks and three hits.

Ali Gartman had a big night for Loyd Star with two homers, a double, a single and eight RBI. “She was really swinging the bat tonight,” said Coach Delaughter. “We hope she can keep it up in the playoffs.” Gartman now has a team-leading six homers for the season.

Megan Norton, Abigail Thornton and Madison Jones all contributed to the win with singles.