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Lawrence County Lady Cougars bite Poplarville Lady Hornets, 6-1

Making up a Thursday game canceled for inclement weather, the Lady Cougars shut down the Lady Hornets of Poplarville 6-1 on Friday.

Poplarville had no answer for the Lady Cougars’ stellar pitching. Lawrence County senior Josey Nations kept the Lady Hornets off the bags for majority of the game and allowed Poplarville just one run and two hits.

“I think the defense played really good behind me,” Nations said.

Nations faced four batters to start the game off. Poplarville managed to get one of those batters on base off of an error, but the Lawrence County girls stranded the runner, getting a ground out to end the inning.

Nations led off with a double. The she-cats were unable to bring her home, however, as the Lady Hornets got the next three batters out.

“I felt like we did pretty good on offense but our hits were shaky at first,” said Lady Cougars sophomore Sydney Pevey. “We came around toward the end.”

Both teams went three up and three down in the second inning. Although both teams were able to get runners on in the third inning, each team’s defense stepped up to prevent the runners from advancing.

Lawrence County coach Meleah Howard said she felt like she had a special pitcher-coach bond with Nations.

“I feel like Josey and I have a really good relationship, as far as I call the pitches and she throws them,” she said. “We talked about, ‘This is your count, you can’t leave the ball on the plate with this batter.’ She has gotten really smart as a pitcher. Getting 13 strike outs and no walks was an impressive game for her.”

The game remained scoreless heading into the bottom half of the fourth, where the Lady Cougars got the game’s first two runs.

Facing one out, the Lady Cougars hit back-to-back singles by senior Maddux Kirkland and senior Tyranesha Davis. Looking at two outs, sophomore Raylee Ready drew a walk, loading up the bases. Nations came up big for the she-cats, nailing a two-run RBI single.

The Lawrence County girls added to their lead in the fifth inning, scoring three more runs. Pevey led off with a single. Freshman Skyler Speights followed with a single of her own.

The Lady Cougars scored one run when Pevey stole home plate. Davis brought in one run on an RBI sacrifice. Junior Alyssa Lambert finished the scoring with an RBI single, before the Lady Hornets were able to finally get out of the inning.

The Poplarville Lady Hornets scored their only run of the game in the top half of the sixth off of an RBI double by junior Rakeya Travis.

The Lady Cougars closed out the game in the sixth off an RBI double by Pevey. Lawrence County won the game by a final score of 6-1.

“We started off slow offensively,” said Coach Howard. “I would like to see us come out of the gate a little bit more aggressive with the bat. They had us off guard with some of the pitches and we weren’t really aggressive at the plate. For the first three innings, I wasn’t happy with us offensively. I thought we really stepped it up in the last three innings and got the runners in when we needed to.”

Nations started on the mound for the Lady Cougars, going all seven innings, striking out 13 batters, giving up one unearned run off two hits.

Nations had a single, double and two RBIs for the she-cats. Junior Julianna Johnson had a single. Pevey had a single, double and an RBI. Ready and junior Abbie Errington hit one single each. Speights had two singles. Lambert and Davis each got a single and an RBI.

Lawrence County, 11-0-1 overall, 3-0 in Region 5-4A, will host the Greene County Lady Wildcats today.

Story by Dave Linton