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Lady Hornets win division crown

Daily Leader / Marty Albright / Loyd Star honored softball seniors Madison Jones, Kelsie McCullough, Megan Norton, Ali Gartman, Julie Smith and Jordan Shelby (manager) Thursday night after the game against Enterprise.

Daily Leader / Marty Albright / Loyd Star honored softball seniors Madison Jones, Kelsie McCullough, Megan Norton, Ali Gartman, Julie Smith and Jordan Shelby (manager) Thursday night after the game against Enterprise.

The Loyd Star Lady Hornets survived a defensive battle 3-0 over the Enterprise Lady Jackets Thursday night to win the division crown.

“Makenzie Smith had a great night on the rubber for us tonight,” said Loyd Star coach Jan Delaughter. “Ali Gartman, Abigail Thornton, Shelby Smith and Meagan Poole did a great job providing us with some key hits to help us score some runs. Overall, I was very pleased with the team’s effort.”

The Lady Hornets (15-5, 6-1) will continue action today when they travel to Sumrall to take on the Lady Bobcats. Junior varsity action begins at 5 p.m., followed by the varsity contest at 6:15 p.m.

The Lady Jackets (11-10, 6-2), coached by Charissa Burke, will also be in action today when they visit Ellisville to battle the South Jones Lady Braves. Junior varsity action begins at 5 p.m., followed by the varsity contest at 6:15 p.m.

Lady Hornets 3, Lady Jackets 0

Loyd Star and Enterprise entered into the contest with one division loss each, knowing that this game would decide the division winner.

Daily Leader / Marty Albright / Enterprise's Jana Nations hustles back to first base to avoid Ali Gartman's (25) tag Thursday night.

Daily Leader / Marty Albright / Enterprise’s Jana Nations hustles back to first base to avoid Ali Gartman’s (25) tag Thursday night.

The Lady Hornets relied on strong defense and the strong arm of their ace pitcher, Makenzie Smith, to keep the Lady Jackets scoreless throughout the game. They were able to score one run in the first, fourth and fifth inning to secure a 3-0 lead.

The Lady Jackets made several attempts to rally back, but Loyd Star’s defense held strong.

“Haley Nations pitched an outstanding game for us,” said Burke. “We just could not get the hits that we needed to stay in the game. Loyd Star has a very good, well-coached team. Overall, I was proud of our effort. The girls fought hard until the very end.”

Makenzie Smith earned the win on the rubber for the Lady Hornets. She held the Lady Jackets to just two hits, while striking out 10 batters and did not give up a walk.

Haley Nations had a solid performance in the circle for Enterprise but suffered the setback with seven strikeouts and one walk.

Abigail Thornton was the top hitter at the plate for Loyd Star with a double and a single. Shelby Smith, Meagan Poole and Ali Gartman contributed a single each.

Lauren Gartman and Carly Polk directed the Lady Jackets with a single each.

Loyd Star celebrated Senior Night Thursday after the game. Softball seniors Ali Gartman, Julie Smith, Kelsie McCullough, Madison Jones, Megan Norton and manager Jordan Shelby were recognized.