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Lady Cougars join elite club for double champions

By By Marty Stamper / EMG sports assistant
May 6, 2002
JACKSON The 2001-02 Newton County Lady Cougars joined the 1998-99 New Albany Lady Bulldogs as the only MHSAA softball teams to win state championships in both slow-pitch and fast-pitch in the same school year.
Newton County completed its championship sweep Sunday afternoon by beating Amory in the Class 3A best-of-three series at the V.A. Fields.
Newton County won the opener 5-2 before Amory bounced back for a 4-1 win to even the series. The Lady Cougars rallied to take the decisive third game 5-3.
In the third game, Newton County got one run in the top of the first inning as Kristin Chaney singled, went to second on a wild pitch, stole third, and scored on an infield out by Dominique Mapp.
Amory got two runs in the bottom of the first with Keri McFarling's RBI-triple being the big hit of the inning.
The Lady Panthers added another run in the bottom of the fourth. Jennifer Swan's fly ball to center field was dropped and Alicia Capps followed with a run-scoring double.
Newton County got to within 3-2 in the top of the fifth as Jennifer Smith singled down the right-field line to start the frame. Courtesy runner Obreisha Davis came home on an infield out by Krissi Harris.
The play of the day came in the top of the sixth. Joy Cavenaugh drew a walk to start the inning and Suzanne Chaney reached on a one-out fielder's choice when the Amory third baseman was unable to get the lead runner at second base. Shelly Ferguson singled to load the bases. Smith grounded into a fielder's choice that tied the game and retired Ferguson at second base, but the junior center fielder upended Amory shortstop Keri McFarling and caused her throw to first on a double play attempt to sail wide as Chaney raced home with the go-ahead run.
Kristin Chaney added an insurance run in the top of the seventh as she reached on an error by McFarling and came home on a wild pitch by losing pitcher Stacy McCommon (13-3).
Amory got the tying run to second base with two outs in the bottom of the seventh before Cavenaugh (14-1) retired Swan to set off a wild celebration by the Lady Cougars and their following.
In finishing 36-6, the Lady Cougars established a school record for wins, breaking the old mark of 35 set last year.
Cavenaugh allowed five runs on 11 hits and six walks in 14 innings for the day. She struck out seven.
Mapp, a sophomore third baseman, was a defensive whiz all day, handling 13 chances with only one error.
In the third game, Mapp effortlessly threw out a runner at first base from foul territory.
Amory finished 29-5.
Game 1
Newton County 5
Amory 2
Cavenaugh (13-1) tossed a five-hitter and Harris and Betsy Clark both had two-out, two-run singles in a four-run third inning as the Lady Cougars won the opener.
Ferguson walked and Jackson reached on an error before Harris singled home the day's first two runs. Mapp and Cavenaugh drew walks to set up Clark's two-run single to right field as the Lady Cougars grabbed a 4-0 lead.
Amory got one run back in the bottom of the third as McFarling reached on a missed third strike and scored on a wild pitch.
The Lady Panthers got to within 4-2 in the fourth as Jessica Neal was hit by a pitch and came home on a single to center field by Leslie Jackson.
Cavenaugh led off the top of the sixth with an infield hit and Davis scored on a collision at the plate following a single by Suzanne Chaney.
McCommon (13-2) took the loss.
Newton County outhit Amory six to five.
Game 2
Amory 4
Newton County 1
McFarling (14-2) allowed only one hit, a seventh-inning single by Cavenaugh with one out, as the Lady Panthers evened the series. Harris, who preceded Cavenaugh's hit with a walk, scored on a wild pitch.
Amory managed five hits. Capps walked twice and scored two runs. Neal had an RBI-double and McCommon had an RBI-single. Stephanie Cummings added a sacrifice fly.
McCommon had two hits for Amory.
Lauren Barrett (10-2) took the loss.