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Lady Bulldogs back on top

By By Marty Stamper/EMG sports assistant
May 8, 2004
Sabrina Woodall's one-out single in the bottom of the ninth inning plated pinch runner Chassidy Roberts for the winning run as Clarkdale returned to the top of the Class 1A/2A fast-pitch softball world with a 2-1 victory over DeSoto Central Friday afternoon at Clarkdale.
Clarkdale swept the series two games to none to finish 26-4. DeSoto Central, a first-year school composed of sophomores and freshmen, ended with a 25-10 mark.
The state championship was exactly how Clarkdale head coach Rick Roberson wanted to see his four seniors pitcher Emily Howard, third baseman Megan Potate, catcher Casey Meador and second baseman Brandi Wright go out.
The championship is Clarkdale's second in the last three years with Mooreville beating the Lady Bulldogs in last year's title series. This year, however, would be Clarkdale's.
Clarkdale threatened in the bottom of the first inning with runners at second and third but came away empty.
DeSoto freshman pitcher Sarah Gill then retired 10 batters in a row before Potate reached on a two-out error in the fourth.
After giving up a leadoff single to Kellye Kaiser in the top of the second, Howard (21-3) retired 17 consecutive batters before Kaiser reached on a two-out infield hit in the seventh. Kaiser scored on a single by Gill to put the Lady Jaguars up 1-0.
A diving stop by Potate to retire Jessica Harrison to start the inning prevented even more damage.
Clarkdale tied the game in the bottom of the seventh as Potate led off with a double and scored on a two-out triple to left-center by Alyssa Bye. The inning could have been bigger as Woodall reached on an error that scored Potate only to be called out for running inside the baseline on the catcher's throw to first base. Potate had to return to second.
Both teams stranded two runners in the eighth.
In the top of the ninth, eighth grade center fielder Lauren Robinson broke DeSoto's hearts when she ran down a bases-loaded fly ball in right-center for the third out.
Roberts started the bottom of the ninth at second base, stole third with one out, and scored easily on Woodall's hit to right field to end the marathon.
Gill took the loss despite a solid performance.
Clarkdale finished with five hits with Bye getting a triple and Potate a double. Howard, Woodall, and Wright each hit a single. The Lady Bulldogs committed no errors.
DeSoto had four hits with Kaiser getting a pair of singles. Gill and Christie Stalnaker each had a single. DeSoto made one error.