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Clarkdale blasts Mercy Cross to reach 2A finals

By By Jeff Byrd/The Meridian Star
Oct. 24, 2001
Never before had Clarkdale senior Ashley Satcher seen one of her hits leave Bulldog Park. On Tuesday, playing in her final home game, she saw two leave.
None were bigger than the second-inning grand-slam that propelled the Clarkdale Lady Bulldogs to the South State 2A slow-pitch softball title. Clarkdale swept the third round series from visiting Mercy Cross of Biloxi 13-3 and 14-7.
Now, veteran Head Coach Rick Roberson will the Lady Bulldogs into their sixth state championship final on Saturday against the North State winner in either Hatley or Mooreville. The championship best of three series is set to begin at 11 a.m. at the V.A. Fields in Jackson.
The competition includes 4A power New Hope, 3A finalist Amory, top-ranked Kossuth and local powers West Lauderdale and Meridian.
The strength of schedule has paid off in the playoffs as the Lady Bulldogs have turned a pedestrian 17-10 regular season record into six straight post-season victories.
The big thing for Satcher, the team's lone senior, was keeping the young team in line. Clarkdale starts three eighth graders.
The slam brought in Jor'Dan Orr, Kaylea Thrash and Megan Potate and gave Clarkdale a commanding 9-0 lead in game two. Sabrina Woodall added another RBI single in the second to up the advantage to 10-0.
The Lady Bulldogs' defense also had a huge hand in the sweep. Clarkdale turned four double-plays in the series including three in the final game. Second base-man Brandi Wright made the turn in all four the twin-kills.
Mercy Cross made a brief rally in the third cutting an 11-1 deficit to 11-5 following a four-run, five-hit at bat. Clarkdale reestablished control with three runs in the fourth off three hits and two Mercy Cross errors. The Lady Crusaders made 12 errors in the series.
Clarkdale finished with 17 hits in game two. Orr went 4-for-5 with three runs scored. Satcher was 4-for-4 with five RBIs. Sabrina Woodall drove in two off two hits while Potate and Savanah Satcher each had two hits.
Mercy Cross, who finished the year at 23-9, was led by Jill Landry. Landry smacked a pair of solo home runs in the series.
Clarkdale 13
Mercy Cross 3
Clarkdale broke out to a 6-0 lead and then sealed the contest with six runs in the sixth.
Megan Potate had a two-run double while Ashley Satcher belted a two-run homer to highlight the six-run, sixth inning.
JorDan Orr had three hits and two runs scored to lead the top of the Lady Bulldog order.
I think we were determined to be successful this year," Orr said. Like Satcher, she also hit a ball out for a home run in game two. She had seven hits in all.
Potate, Savanah Satcher and Wright each drove in two runs in game one. Wright's two-run single in the first put Clarkdale up 4-0 in the first inning.
Beth Brauchle had three hits and drove in a run to lead Mercy Cross.
Jeff Byrd is a sports writer for the Meridian Star. He can be reached at 693-1551or by e-mail