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Lady Cougars defeated in title game

The Brookhaven Academy Lady Cougars came up just short in their bid for the MAIS AA State Championship Saturday, as the Clinton Christian Academy Lady Crusaders swept the championship series with a 13-6 victory.

Emotions were heavy after the game, but the Lady Cougars had nothing to hang their heads about, as the game was much closer than the final score showed. This year’s squad won the South State Championship, something they fell short of doing last year, and posted a 37-5 record.

“Definitely not how we wanted the season to end,” Lady Cougars coach Becky Flowers said. “We’ve come so far. Last year we finished second in MAIS AA South State and third in state. This year we won South State and second in state. So we’re definitely progressing as a program. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is any valid program.”

Despite the Lady Crusaders getting two runners on base off a leadoff double by Katherine Bruner and a single by Maddie Weeks, the Lady Cougars were able to strand the runners as they got the next three batters out in the first inning. The game would remain scoreless heading into the second inning.

Clinton Christian took the lead in the top half of the second on a two-run home run over right center by Kenzie Lawrence.

The Lady Cougars would gain the lead in their half of the second, as they loaded up the bases following a walk and back-to-back singles by Abeni Fuller and Emily Claire Felder.

Morgan Smith would bring in Brookhaven Academy’s first run on an RBI single that dribbled in front of home plate. Jana Case finished the scoring with a three-run homerun, giving the Lady Cougars a 4-2 lead.

The Lady Crusaders tried to take the lead back in the fourth inning, but with runners on the corners could only score one run off an RBI double by Bruner.

Clinton Christian would retake a 7-4 lead in the fifth inning with a two-run homerun by Makiya Hunter, an RBI single by Ashton Lyles and an RBI sacrifice by Bruner.

The Lady Cougars would pull within one run in the bottom half of the fifth. Brookhaven Academy loaded up the bases with a walk and a single by Madison Moak and Madi Smith. Hallie Creel drove in a run off an RBI single. The final run for the Lady Cougars would come off a bases loaded walk by Morgan Smith.

The Lady Crusaders would add to their lead in the sixth with a two-run homerun by Hanna Zeitz, and a grand slam in the seventh by Iris Favre to take a 13-6 lead into the final minutes of the contest.

“We’ve had a great season,” Flowers said. “Finishing with a 37-5 record is amazing by any measure. Four of the losses are to the new state champs, Clinton Christian, so at the end of the day we’ve had a great year. My heart hurts for the girls and the disappointment on their faces. We will lose only two seniors, Jana Case and Morgan Smith, so the future is definitely bright.”

Story by Dave Linton