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Union climbs to top

By By Marty Stamper/EMG sports assistant
October 26, 2003
JACKSON After years of struggling up the slow-pitch softball ladder, the Union Lady Jackets got to admire the view from the top early Saturday afternoon at the V.A. Fields.
The Lady Jackets won their first state slow-pitch championship with a 20-2, 12-7 sweep of Ingomar in a rematch of the 2002 finals.
Union hammered 19 hits in winning the five-inning opener in just 41 minutes. Of the 19 hits, three were doubles and four were triples.
Union scored seven unearned runs in the second inning and took a 16-0 lead with six more runs in the top of the fourth.
Amechia Hickmon had a pair of two-run triples. Morgan Milling had three hits, including a two-run double and a two-run single, and scored three runs. Chasity Yates had a two-run triple and three RBIs. Lauren White had a two-run triple and a run-scoring single. Morgan Breland had two singles and a double and scored three runs.
Loren Kennedy had two hits and scored three runs. Tiffany Thomas had two RBIs. Winning pitcher Madison Brantley (22-9), Beth Crotwell, and Lindsay Walker each had two hits, while Deann Cleveland scored two runs.
While Union's first four batters (Kennedy, Breland, Milling, and White) were 10-for-14, Ingomar's first four were 0-for-9.
The Lady Falcons got their only two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Heather Deaton and losing pitcher Brittni Gilliam both had two of Ingomar's six hits. The Lady Falcons committed five errors.
In the second game, Union erased a 1-0 deficit in the bottom of the third, sending 15 batters to the plate and scoring 11 runs. The key play came with the bases loaded and one out when Milling's fly ball hit off left fielder Brittany Akins' glove for a four-base error and a 4-1 Union lead.
Crotwell, Hickmon, Yates, and Walker had RBI singles in the inning with Kennedy adding a two-run single.
Trailing 12-3, Ingomar scored four runs in the top of the seventh.
Kennedy and Thomas both had three hits, while White, Yates and Walker each had two of the Lady Jackets' 16 hits.
Kennedy, who missed some of the season with a back problem, went 5-for-6 from her leadoff spot and scored four runs and drove in three in the two wins.
Brantley (23-9) got the win. "It's unbelievable," the senior pitcher said. "We're proud to come out with a win. We've worked hard. We knew the surroundings and we were ready to play ball. We just came out and played our best, unlike last year when we played our best at South State instead of the championship. We knew we had to play good to beat Ingomar."
Ingomar also had 16 hits with Beth Short getting three.