Meridian Star

Sports

March 25, 2014

Big bats lift Newton County past Clarkdale

MERIDIAN —     The Newton County High School softball team smacked 12 hits, including five extra-base hits, en route to their 11-0 win over Clarkdale High School Monday night.

    After scoring three runs in the first, the Lady Cougars (10-2) busted the game open with a seven-run second inning.  

    In that rally, Newton County third baseman, Darby Bishop, launched a towering solo-home run to straight away center, and later drove in two more runs with a single up the middle.

    "I was just able to put my bat on the ball and put good swings on it," Bishop. "It was an adjustment (with the Clarkdale pitcher) because we're not used to slow pitchers, we're so used to fast pitches. We made the adjustments and moved up in the box."

    In the circle, Dalmericka King (2-1) tossed five innings, and limited Clarkdale to two hits while striking out five batters.

    "I tried my hardest out there," King said. "I moved the ball well and pitched hard. I did what (assistant coach Randy) Bishop wanted me to do... This win really improved my confidence a lot."

    The Lady Cougars  opened the game with three straight hits, including an RBI double by Bishop that scored Latesia Davis. Bishop came around to score when Ashton Lampton roped a double to right. Lampton later scored on Cassidy Blunt's RBI groundout.

    "The extra-base hits kind of got us off to a fast start," Newton County coach Justin Chaney said.

    A walk and a single followed Bishop's home run to open the second. With Lampton standing on third, Abby Reeves drove her in with a sacrifice fly. Another run came home on Hannah May's RBI groundout, and Lampton capped the frame with a double to left that scored Davis.

    NCHS tacked on a single run in the fourth for the final outcome.

    "It was a good win for us," Chaney said. "Overall, I thought we played a very clean game, so I'm excited about that."

    Despite the lopsided defeat, Clarkdale coach Britt Bennett saw plenty of positives from his squad, which included two stellar defensive plays by third baseman Molly McLeod.

    "You have to tip your hat to (Newton County) tonight," Clarkdale coach Britt Bennett said. "They hit it. They hit all over the yard. We didn't make any errors tonight. We hit two batters tonight, but we didn't walk anybody. Molly (McLeod) had a great night at third. She made some outstanding plays.

    "That's a good team we played and you just have to tip your cap to them."  

    The Lady Bulldogs (5-6) now set their sights on its Class 2A District 5 opener against Union High School tonight.

    "We've got a big game coming up," Bennett said. "I actually talked to the kids Saturday about focusing on (Union). We're not going to overlook any games, but as far as importance to our season, the game against Union is the night."

    Newton County also plays its district opener tonight as the Lady Cougars travel to Quitman High School for Class 4A District 5 action.

    "Going into division play tomorrow night, hopefully we can keep being hot," Chaney said.

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