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West Lauderdale eliminates LCHS

COLLINSVILLE-West Lauderdale swept a best-of-three series from Lawrence County in the opening round of the 4A slow-pitch softball playoffs. West Lauderdale jumped to big leads in both games, then held off furious Lawrence County rallies, to advance to the second round of the playoffs.

With the losses, Lawrence County, coached by Meleah Howard, finished the season with a record of 20-7. West Lauderdale, coached by Cary Luke, eliminated LCHS from the slow-pitch playoffs in the second round last season.

In the first game, West Lauderdale exploded for 12 first-inning runs, and at one point led 16-1, before LCHS battled back to make a game of it. The Lady Knights smacked 4 homeruns in the game, 2 of them by Ana Gilbert.

Lawrence County bounced back with 9 runs of its own in the top of the fourth. Jamie Martin and Madison Hyde both homered in the frame, and Martin added a seventh-inning clout for the Lady Cougars’ final two runs.

Alexis “Lexie” Johnson led LCHS with 3 hits, including 2 doubles. Hyde, Martin, Tiera Collins, and pitcher Barri Rogers each had 2 hits. Left-fielder Maddie Thompson went 4-for-4 to lead West Lauderdale.

The second game went much like the first. Instead of one huge inning, West Lauderdale, the visiting team in game two, steadily piled up runs, scoring in every inning. After tallying 3 runs in the top of the fourth, the Lady Knights held a 13-1 lead. Six different West Lauderdale batters-Gilbert, Thompson, Abbe Bates, Breanna Sharp, Jami Keene, and Mallory Wooldridge-hit homeruns in the game.

Again, the Lady Cougars battled back, scoring 1 in the bottom of the fourth, 6 in the fifth, 5 in the sixth, and 3 in the bottom of the seventh. Lawrence County got potential tying run to the plate when the game ended.

Barri Rogers went 5-for-5 for LCHS. Johnson, Hyde, Martin, and Collins had 3 hits each. Alexsundria Thomas and Maddux Kirkland each had 2 hits. Hyde hit 2 homeruns, her second and third of the day. Kirkland, a freshman, also homered.