Meridian Star

Sports

March 9, 2014

Lady Panthers run past Clarkdale, 11-3

QUITMAN — Abigail Toomey’s seven strong innings paved the way for Quitman High School as the Lady Panthers topped Clarkdale High School, 11-3, Saturday afternoon.

Toomey yielded just three runs on six hits and one walk for Quitman while striking out six, and Lady Panthers head coach Thad George said he was pleased with the attitude Toomey has shown so far on the young season.

“First, she’s just a great competitor,” George said. “She’s serious about this, and she wants to be good at it. We ride her fastball, like probably everyone does, but she’s able to change speeds, and that’s the key. You have to be able to change speeds and throw strikes, and she can.”

Quitman took an early 3-1 lead when Morgan Rowell and Mallory Lee scored on a double by Hannah Lafferty and Hannah Hampton came home on an RBI single by Lee in the early innings. Clarkdale’s Ashley Mclead scored on a fielder’s choice in the second inning.

In the bottom of the third innings, Quitman extended its lead to 6-1 when Hampton singled in Kallie Belcher and and Rowell drove in Hampton and Maury Brown on a single.

Quitman scored three more runs in the bottom of the fourth when a single by Chequira Bonner scored Brown and G.O. Odom and Hampton came home on a sacrifice fly.

Clarkdale finally scored again in the top of the fifth on a single by Aubrey Hart that sent in MaKayla Roberts. Quitman scored its final two runs on a two-run double by Lafferty.

Heather Harwell scored Clarkdale’s final run on a sacrifice fly in the top of the seventh.

Lady Bulldogs head coach Britt Bennett said his team simply couldn’t find the strike zone enough to be successful Saturday afternoon and issued too many free passes.

“We played a lot better this weekend than we did last weekend, but they key is, we’re not throwing strikes,” Bennett said. “We’re walking too many hitters. They got their hits — you have to tip your hat to them — but every time they got a hit, there were two or three people on base.”

Lee finished the game 3-for-4, and Lafferty was 2-for-4 for Quitman. No one for Clarkdale had more than one hit.

Quitman (3-1) will play in the Clarkdale tournament Friday versus Nanih Waiya High School, while Clarkdale (0-3) will play in the same tournament Thursday against Meridian High School, followed by Nanih Waiya.

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