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Loyd Star falls short to Lady Cougars — Lawrence Co. takes 6-3 win Tuesday

Lawrence County played spoiler Tuesday night, beating Loyd Star 6-3 on the Lady Hornets’ senior night.

The Cougars bats swung heavy, tallying 14 hits against the Lady Hornets. Lawrence County scored two runs in the fourth inning, and the Cougars were able to stay ahead of Loyd Star. The Cougars scored two insurance runs in the seventh, securing the win.

“We didn’t hit the ball really well tonight, but we played them better than we did last time we faced them,” Lady Hornets senior Marley Poole said. “This team has meant a lot to me and I love my team and really like playing with them.”

Neither team could find any momentum early, as the game went scoreless heading into the third inning.

Batting in the top of the third, the Lady Cougars got themselves on the board. With two outs, senior Josey Nations doubled on a line drive to center field. Senior Tyranesha Davis followed with a RBI-double into left field. The Lady Hornets managed to get out of the inning with a fly ball to right field.

Loyd Star attempted to tie up the game in their half of the third, as Carson Hughey singled into center field with two outs. The Cougars stranded Hughey, however, striking out the next batter.

“We played a good team and never gave up,” Loyd Star coach Jan Delaughter said. “With Lawrence County being undefeated coming in, we knew we were going to have to play our best ball. I’m proud of the team this year. No one expected us to get as far as we have. I’m proud of the girls for finishing second in the district and getting into the playoffs.”

The Lady Cougars added to their lead in their half of the fourth, bringing in two runs. Freshman Skylar Speights led off with a double into center field. Senior Maddux Kirkland followed with a RBI-single into left field.

With one out, sophomore Raylee Ready notched a single past second base. With two outs and the bases loaded, Nations hit an RBI-single past third base. The Loyd Star girls left the bases loaded with Lady Cougars, getting the final out on a pop up.

The Lady Hornets would finally get into the score book in the final frame of the fifth, as they scored off of an error by the she-cougars.

The Lady Cougars got the run back in the top half of the sixth. Facing two outs, Nations doubled into center field. Davis brought Nations in on an RBI-double into left field. The Loyd Star girls got out of the inning producing a ground ball out.

The Cougars grabbed two insurance runs in their half of the seventh. Speights led off with a hard-hit double into center field. Kirkland scored Speights on a line drive double that made its way into right field.

With one out, Ready scored Kirkland on an RBI-single that went into right field. Loyd Star got out of the inning striking one batter out and getting a fly ball out in right field.

The Lady Hornets attempted a rally in the bottom half of the seventh, scoring two runs. With two outs Meagan Poole notched a line drive single to center field. Marley Poole followed, drawing her second walk of the night

“Marley is a great kid and she’s been a good leader for us,” she said. “She’s worked hard and we’re going to miss her. Right now, she’s leading the team in hitting and she’s going to be hard to replace. She’s been a great leader to these kids this year and in the past.”

Johnna Norman reached first on an error by the she-cougars, which scored both Meagan and Marley Poole. The Lady Cougars picked up the 6-3 win getting a ground out to end the game.

“I’m extremely proud of Ashley Holden,” Lady Cougars coach Meleah Howard said. “She has stepped up and pitched good games two nights straight against pretty good teams. We hit the ball pretty well tonight, but not as well as I would’ve liked. We got to clean up things on defense.”

Sophomore Ashley Holden picked up the win for the Lady Cougars, going all seven innings, while allowing four hits and three runs while picking up five strike outs and walking six batters.

Aly Floyd took the setback on the rubber for the Lady Hornets, going all seven innings, allowing 14 hits and six runs, five earned, while picking up two strike outs and walking one batter.

Norman had a single for the Lady Hornets. Hughey also tallied a single. Meagan Poole hit a single. Floyd finished the hitting for the Lady Hornets with a single.

Kirkland led the Lady Cougars with two doubles, a single and two RBIs. Nations had two doubles, a single and an RBI. Speights notched two doubles. Davis had two singles and two RBIs. Ready had a single and an RBI. Junior Julianna Johnson finished the hitting for the Lady Cougars with a single.

The Lawrence County Lady Cougars will host the Enterprise Lady Yellow Jackets today.

The Loyd Star Lady Hornets will travel to Pisgah Friday, as they face off against the Lady Dragons in the 2A playoffs, then host the Lady Dragons Saturday with the game starting at 1 p.m.

Story by Dave Linton