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Newton County wins South State 3A crown

By By Marty Stamper / EMG sports assistant
April 28, 2002
RICHLAND The Newton County Lady Cougars had no problem disposing of Richland for the Class 3A South State fast-pitch softball championship Saturday afternoon as they knocked off the Lady Rangers 8-2 and 15-1 on a hot afternoon.
Newton County, 34-5, will face Amory, 28-3, for the Class 3A state championship in a best-of-three series next Saturday at the V.A. Fields in Jackson. Newton County beat Amory there for the slow-pitch state title back in October. Amory won the 2001 1A/2A/3A fast-pitch state title and advanced to this year's championship with a 5-2, 11-3 sweep of Kossuth Saturday.
Newton County won the 2000 1A/2A/3A fast-pitch crown.
Winning state championships in both versions of the game in the same school year remains a possibility for the Lady Cougars.
Newton County had some pretty fair pitching of its own against Richland as the Lady Rangers managed just three hits in the opener and failed to get a hit in the second game.
In the opener, the Lady Cougars struck for four runs with two outs in the top of the first inning to set the tone for the day. Suzanne Chaney and Shelly Ferguson both had a two-run single.
Richland left the bases loaded in the bottom of the first as Joy Cavenaugh struck out Bethany Boteler to end the threat.
Ferguson singled home Chaney for a 5-0 lead in the third.
In the fourth frame, Cavenaugh's fielder's choice scored Holly Jackson, who had walked, and Kristin Chaney scored on a wild pitch after stealing second and third for a 7-0 lead.
Richland got one run in the bottom of the fifth as Brandie Westerfield walked and scored on an infield error.
The Lady Cougars went up 8-1 in the sixth as Jackson walked and scored on a double to right-center by Kristin Chaney, who went 3-for-4 in the opener.
Richland got its second run in the seventh as Kacie Smith singled and scored on a single by LaChandra Williams.
Cavenaugh (12-1) threw the first five innings to get the win. She allowed one hit and three walks while striking out four. Suzanne Chaney threw the final two frames, allowing two hits.
Ferguson went 2-for-4 with three RBIs for Newton County.
In the second game, the Lady Cougars scored three runs with two outs in the top of the first inning. Two singles, two walks, two wild pitches, and two errors led to the quick start.
Newton County put the game away with 10 runs in the top of the third as 16 Lady Cougars went to the plate. Big hits in the inning were a three-run homer well over the 185-foot fence in right field by Dominique Mapp and a two-run blast to left-center by Betsy Clark. The Lady Cougars also got three walks, had three batters hit by a pitch, and had three more reach on errors in the inning.
Joni Seales and Amber Tyson had RBI singles for Newton County in the fifth.
Lauren Barrett (10-1) and Lindsey Little combined for a no-hitter. Barrett threw four innings and allowed one walk with two Lady Rangers reaching on errors. Little pitched the fifth, hitting one batter and striking out one.
Mindy Dean (11-8) took the loss in both games for Richland, 12-8.
In the two games, Newton County had 15 hits and received 12 walks to go with six batters hit by a pitch. The Lady Cougars committed five errors. Newton County stranded 18 runners on the bases.
Richland had three hits and drew four walks with two Lady Rangers hit by a pitch. The Lady Rangers committed six errors and left nine runners on base.

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