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It’s Cougars against Cougars Saturday

Lawrence County will travel to Newton County tonight for game one of the South State championship, with the winner moving on to the state championship series in Jackson next weekend.

Newton County comes into the series with a 22-6 record, and a perfect 8-0 mark within their district. Newton County has gone 4-0 in the playoffs, and they’ve won 15 of their last 17 contests.

They outscored their opponents within the district 58-8 runs, and dominated all eight contests en route to garnering the number one seed.

On the mound

Newton County has a formidable one-two punch on the mound in juniors Shelby Anderson and Brittany Thomas.

Anderson has been the ace pitcher of the staff throughout the year. She’s thrown 76.2 innings on the season and has only given up 62 hits over that period.

She’s struck out 44 hitters and only walked 14 hitters on the season. The junior pitcher comes into the series with an ERA of 2.28 and she’s averaging only giving up one base runner per inning.

Brittany Thomas has been a solid option for Newton County as well. She’s thrown 61.1 innings on the season and only surrendered 56 hits in the season. She’s struck out 43 hitters on the year and comes into the series with a 3.31 ERA.

Pitchers have the ability to go multiple games, so how Newton County plays it with their two pitchers will be interesting to see.

At the plate

Newton County is one of the better hitting teams in 4A, as they hit .310 on the season and are slugging over .400 as a team.

They’re led by sophomore Jada McDougle, who has been the catalyst for them from an offensive perspective. McDougle is hitting .432 on the season, and she’s slugging .629 on the year. She has an OPS of 1.095, and she leads the team in triples with five and homeruns with two.

Thomas is also one of the better hitters on the team, coming into the series with a .361 batting-average and slugging .444 on the season.

Katelyn Gipson hits .333 for Newton County, and slugs .444 for the season. She leads the team in doubles with five.

Anderson is hitting .365 for Newton County and is slugging .459. She has five extra-base hits for the season.

Sophomore Loren Ivey’s batting average doesn’t tell the whole story on her. While she’s hitting less than .300, she’s slugging .514 on-base percentage of .351. Ivey has the only other Newton County homerun besides the two from McDougle.