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Lady Cougars lose state title opener — Lawrence County collapses late, surrenders 7-1 lead in 7th inning to lose in extras

They were one out away.

Then they were one out away again, and again, and again, and it just didn’t happen for Lawrence County on Thursday. The out never came, and Kosciusko kept tallying baserunner after baserunner, and after entering the seventh inning trailing 7-1, the Whippets put up six runs to tie the game.

They eventually won it in the ninth, and the Lady Cougars are faced with winning two games in two days if they want to claim the program’s first ever state championship.

“There’s not much to say about (that inning),” Lawrence County head coach Meleah Howard said. “We just let it get away from us.”

The Lady Cougars put up five runs in the bottom of the first inning to jump out on Kosciusko and put what seemed to be an early, fatal blow on the Whippets.

Josie Nations was dominant throughout the first six innings of the contest, only surrendering one run over that time span.

But the bottom of the seventh got away from the Lady Cougars, and it got away fast. Two wild pitches with two outs let the sixth and tying run score for the Whippets before Anna Holden was able to notch a strikeout to end the inning.

The Lady Cougars got Ty Davis into scoring position in the bottom of the seventh, but weren’t able to get the baserunner in.

Holden pitched a scoreless top of the eighth inning even after the Whippets had the bases loaded with nobody out. She was aided by a throw out at home by Davis, who threw out two runners at the plate in the contest.

“Ty is just a senior that’s played well for us,” Howard said. “She’s really good in the outfield, and she’s made herself into a really good softball player.”

After the scoreless top of the eighth inning, the Lady Cougars had the winning run on second in the bottom half of the frame with nobody out, and had the bases loaded with one out.

The runner didn’t cross the plate, and the Whippets broke the tie in the top of the ninth inning with two runs.

Lawrence County had first and second, nobody out in the bottom of the frame, but were held off the scoreboard to give the Whippets the game-one victory.

The good news for Howard and the Lady Cougars is that Kosciusko has to beat them again.

“We play tomorrow, and we’ve kept our season alive every time that we’ve had to,” Howard said. “We’ll have to do that again tomorrow. We have to be at peace with what happened, and just show up tomorrow ready to play.”

The two teams will return to Hattiesburg Friday at 4 p.m. to do battle in game two of the contest. If Lawrence County was to win, a third game would be played on Saturday at a time to be determined.