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BA’s softball season ends in 4A state tourney

The Brookhaven Academy Lady Cougars (30-8-1) saw their season come to an end Saturday in Magee at the MAIS 4A State Tournament.

The Lady Cougars had been runners up in the south state tournament the week before and faced off with East Rankin in the first round of the state tournament Saturday.

BA used nine hits in a 12-0 win over East Rankin as sophomore pitcher Emily Claire Felder struck out nine while only giving up four hits. Hallie Creel hit a double for BA and Bailee Goodson hit a pair of doubles. Goodson drove in four runs and seventh-grader Kensy Covington drove in two as well.

A by-product of not winning the south state tournament was BA being placed on the same side of the bracket as north No. 1 seed Magnolia Heights. The two teams met earlier in the season on Aug. 10 in a game that Mag Heights won 6-4.

Saturday, BA went up 1-0 after the first inning but the Lady Chiefs from Senatobia added four runs in the third and three in the fourth to take control in a game they’d eventually win 7-5.

Felder homered in the loss and Abby Grace Richardson hit a triple and a pair of doubles. Errors hurt both teams as MHA committed three and BA made two.

The loss sent BA to the losers’ bracket where they faced north No. 2 seed Bayou Academy. Again, BA jumped up 1-0 after one inning but Bayou would ultimately limit the Cougar hitters to three hits in a 3-1 win that eliminated coach Becky Flowers and her team.

When it was announced that BA was moving from the old MAIS AA to the new 4A classification this year Flowers mentioned Magnolia Heights as one of the traditionally strong programs that would be among the best in the division. Mag Heights also got some transfers after the beginning of the season that improved their team, according to Flowers.

Magnolia Heights and Bayou are playing for the state title in a three-game series this week.

“We weren’t our best against a good Magnolia Heights team,” said Flowers. “We had some individuals hitting the ball well, but in our two losses we didn’t have a moment where we were putting it all together.”

Creel and Kaylie Burgess are the only seniors on the team. Creel will play next week in the MAIS All-Star game and will continue her career next season at Mississippi College.

Madi Smith and Matti B. Johnson will both be seniors next season and the junior class will be made up of Felder, Richardson, Goodson and Madison Moak.