Newton Co. takes road softball win over WL
By By Marty Stamper / EMG sports assistant
Sept. 12, 2003
So far, the 2003 slow-pitch softball season hasn't gotten off to the greatest of starts by Newton County's standards.
However, the 2003 Lady Cougars now have a regular season victory at West Lauderdale to their credit and that's something many Newton County teams were unable to accomplish.
The Lady Cougars scored four runs in the fifth inning and added three more in the seventh in taking a 9-4 victory over the sixth-ranked Lady Knights at Richard May Complex Thursday night.
The win upped Newton County's Division 5-3A record to 6-0 and its overall mark to 10-5. West fell to 5-1 and 12-3.
"The game pretty well started like most of them do," Newton County head coach Mack Fanning said. "Somebody gets a run early and the next thing you know, about 15 minutes later you're already in the fourth inning."
West took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second when losing pitcher Sommer Jones tripled to right field and courtesy runner Brooke Lee scored on a sacrifice fly by Ashley Helms.
Newton County, which had only two hits through three innings, took a 2-1 lead in the top of the fourth on a towering double to left-center by Meloni Johnson. Her hit scored Joy Cavenaugh, who reached on an error, and Jennifer Smith, who legged out an infield hit.
"Meloni is an outstanding extra hitter for us," Fanning said.
West pulled even in the bottom of the fourth as Katie Moulds and Holly Herrington singled with Jones adding an RBI single.
The Lady Cougars increased their lead to 6-2 with four runs in the top of the fifth. Dominique Mapp and Lorna Blackburn had RBI singles. Cavenaugh's fly ball to right field was misplayed into a two-base error. The final run of the inning scored on Lindsey Stevens' fielder's choice.
The Lady Knights got one run back in the fifth as Kristi Lantz doubled and scored on a single by Moulds.
The Lady Knights loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth only to come away empty.
"They got the clutch hits when they needed them and we didn't," West head coach Jerry Boatner said. "I thought their four best hitters were better than our four best hitters.
"From top to bottom, we hit the ball better, but their four best tonight were better than our four best. The next time we play them it may not be that way."
The Lady Cougars tacked on three insurance runs in the top of the seventh. Cavenaugh and Smith had RBI singles with another run scoring on a Lady Knight outfield error.
"A couple of timely hits there were big for us," Fanning said. "Even in the last inning, we plated two runs with two outs. Those two-out runs are what win a lot of ballgames for you."
Kayla Eubanks tripled for West in the bottom of the seventh and scored on a fielder's choice by Moulds.
Chassidy Smith (10-5) got the win.
"(Chassidy) Smith pitched extremely well for us as she always has," Fanning said. "And I thought Jennifer Smith made a couple of heck-of-a-plays at first base. Probably an inexperienced girl doesn't make them.
"Megan Munn had about four putouts at second base and everything was done like it's supposed to be. Our outfield did us a nice job. We had a couple of misplays, but we've got some young girls out there."
Blackburn went 3-for-4 for Newton County. Mapp, Jennifer Smith, and Lindsey Little each had two of the Lady Cougars' 12 hits.
Jones went 3-for-4 to lead West's 14-hit attack. Kirby Rutledge, Eubanks, Moulds, and Herrington each had two hits.