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Lady Panthers blast Loyd Star, 11 to nothing

Everyone got home early Thursday night after Brookhaven’s Lady Panthers needed just five innings to blank the Lady Hornets of Loyd Star.

Brookhaven’s bats caught heat early in the game and never cooled down. The Lady Panthers had a big fourth inning, scoring seven runs, to put the game out of reach from the Lady Hornets.

“I’m OK with the win. I like it,” said Lady Panthers senior pitcher Haley Nations. “I could’ve avoided some stuff, but I think I pitched well.”

A newcomer to Ole Brook from Enterprise this spring, Nations showed it didn’t matter what team she played for. She faced four batters to start the game, striking out two.

Junior Kat Wallace got the Lady Panthers on the board first in their half of the first inning with a hard-hit RBI double. Senior Jadeyn Fuller followed with an RBI double of her own before the Lady Hornets could record the final outs.

The Lady Panthers scored two more runs in the bottom of the third. With two outs, sophomore Lynsey Nations belted a two-run homer, giving the Ole Brook girls a 4-0 lead.

The she-cats did major damage in the fourth inning, scoring a total of seven runs. An errant throw from the Lady Hornets that saw the ball sail past third base allowed sophomore Madi Miller to turn what would’ve been a double into an inside the park homerun.

Senior Relieigh Allen brought a run in on deep RBI sac fly. Lynsey Nations came up big for the Lady Panthers, hitting a two-run RBI double. Junior Katie Westbrook followed with an RBI double. Sophomore Kyla Henderson brought in a run off an RBI single. Wallace finished the scoring drive with an RBI single before the Lady Hornets finally managed to get out of the inning.

Nations, pitching all five innings and striking out 10 batters, needed to face just four batters in the fifth to put the game away, picking up an 11-0 shutout win.

“Tonight was a good night for us,” Lady Panthers coach Mandy Vinson said. “The girls battled hard. We still got to cut down a few errors, but I was proud of the way we hit the ball. Haley pitched a great game and Madi caught a good game. We worked very hard on defense this week and I think we’re coming around on it. I look forward to the rest of the season.”

Aly Floyd, pitching four innings and striking out four batters, took the setback for Loyd Star.

Junior Meagan Poole picked up the Lady Hornets’ only hit.

Miller had two singles, one double and one RBI for the Lady Panthers. Wallace had a single, double and two RBIs. Fuller had two doubles and one RBI. Allen had a single and an RBI.

Lynsey Nations had a double, a homerun and four RBIs. Henderson had a single and an RBI. Westbrook had a double and an RBI.

The Lady Panthers will be back in action today, as they take on Mize and Pearl in the Lawrence County Softball Tournament.

Story by Dave Linton