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Northeast girls have title dreams

By By Jeff Byrd/The Meridian Star
Sept. 18, 2001
There are six championships signs posted in the outfield of West Lauderdale's Richland May Complex, touting the softball success of the Lady Knights.
Northeast Lauderdale has no such banners to display, but after Monday night, the Lady Trojans may have taken another step in joining the state's elite.
The Lady Trojans completed a rare in-season sweep of their arch-rivals, this time in front of another big and partisan West Lauderdale crowd at the May Complex. Northeast took advantage of a bad defensive night by the Lady Knights, timely hitting, and for at least six innings, an excellent defense to take the 14-11 victory.
The win improves the sixth ranked Lady Trojans to 17-1 on the season. The fourth ranked Lady Knights fall to 15-2.
Lady Trojan Head Coach Chris Harper said his team responded to the challenge of playing one of the state's strongest programs.
Northeast built a commanding 14-6 lead lead through six innings in part to a defensive breakdown by West Lauderdale. The Lady Knights committed nine errors in the game.
West Lauderdale Head Coach Jerry Boatner couldn't believe it.
The Lady Trojans were ready from the start scoring five runs in their first at bat. An early controversy over a dropped fly ball with the bases-loaded had things brewing early.
But the play was quickly forgotten after a high throw home on a ball hit back to the mound allowed Lauren Webb to score the game's second run. The error then set up a huge bases-clearing triple by Amber Gray that handed the Lady Trojans a 5-0 lead.
Three more West errors in the second led to three more runs as the Lady Trojans grabbed an 8-1 lead. Webb and G.A. Watkins had RBIs in the at-bat for Northeast.
West cut it to 8-2 in the third when Courtney Godwin belted a triple and then scored on a fielders choice by Amy Frazier. They then added three runs in the fourth to make it 8-5 following scores by Hailey Scarborough, Amber Joyner and Brook Bounds. Godwin's second triple was the inning's big hit.
Northeast got a run back in the fifth when Gray doubled and then scored following West's seventh error of the game. The Lady Trojans then broke it open with a five-run sixth.
Jana Olczak had the key hit in the frame belting a triple into left field to score Raleigh Odom and Watkins. Jennifer Bristow plated Olczak and then later scored off a single by April Harper.
Down 14-5, West got a run in the sixth off Godwin's fourth hit of the game, a double to left-center that scored Joyner.
With one out in the bottom of the seventh, West reeled off three straight hits to keep its chances alive. Scarborough followed by delivering a well-hit ball to center. The ball glanced off a glove in the outfield allowing three runs to score making it 14-10.
A fly out to right with one out got Scarborough in for a 14-11 game. But Bounds then flew out to left to end the game.
Gray led Northeast going 2-for-2 and driving in three. Webb, Odom and Harper all had two hits.
West was led by Godwin's four-hit game. Joyner had three hits while Christina Gardner and Brittany Mosley had two hits each.
Northeast returns home to play Laurel at Northeast Park today at 6 p.m. West Lauderdale is back home also today against Philadelphia.
Jeff Byrd is a sports writer for the Meridian Star. He can be reached at 693-1551 or by e-mail at j.byrd@atthemeridianstar.com.

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