Ole Brook battles emotions in loss

Published 12:02 am Friday, April 21, 2017

A day meant to celebrate the seniors turned into a day of remembrance and unity.

The Ole Brook Lady Panthers lined up on their side of the diamond before the game with tears streaming down their faces, remembering their teammate Brittney Hill, who died in a car accident on the way to prom last Friday night.

The players embraced each other and released balloons into the sky before the first pitch, thinking about their friend and teammate.

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“It was very emotional,” Brookhaven head coach Mandy Vinson said. “It becomes more real every day for us. It’s so hard.”

Ole Brook could not overcome an early deficit as Lawrence County jumped out the board early with seven runs in the first two innings and ended up winning the game by a final score of 13-6.

The loss ends the regular season for the Lady Panthers with a 16-10 overall record. The win gives Lawrence County a 20-8 overall record for the regular season.

Even with the score in favor of the Lady Cougars, Brookhaven did not go down quietly, scoring four runs in the final three innings to hang on late.

With emotions running high, the Lady Panthers played with heavy hearts and it showed on the field.

“It was very emotional,” Vinson said. ““It was good for the girls though to get back on the field and play. I think they played with a lot of heart tonight. It was just tough.”

Trailing by a score of 12-2 in the bottom of the fifth, the Lady Panthers came to the plate and extended the game with tough at bats and put two runs on the board to show for it. Senior Macy Ziskin hit an RBI double to center field and senior Cheyenne Motley hit a groundball and reached base on an error, scoring another run to make it 12-4.

Senior Tia Bussey hit an infield single to score a run in the bottom of the sixth and Motley hit an RBI groundout in the bottom of the seventh give the Lady Panthers life.

Win or lose, getting out on the field and playing was all that mattered.

“I told them tonight, win or lose, it didn’t matter to us,” Vinson said. “Everybody was going to play their hearts out. We were going to give it all we have and our girls fought the whole time. I don’t think there’s one girl that walked off that field tonight that didn’t give everything they had.”

Ziskin led Ole Brook at the plate, going 1-for-4 with two RBIs on the night. Motley also went 1-for-4 at the plate with one RBI for the game. Freshman Madi Miller had two hits for the Lady Panthers and Bussey added one hit as well.

Freshman Sydney Pevey led the Lady Cougars at the plate going 3-for-4 with four RBIs on the night. Junior Tyranesha Davis and eighth grader Skyler Speights each had two RBIs for Lawrence County.

Brookhaven will host a playoff game Tuesday night. The opponent is to be determined.