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March 15, 2013

Locals teams faceoff in Spring Fling

MERIDIAN —     The Union High School softball team split its first two games of the El Norte Clarkdale Spring Fling Thursday at Northeast Park, beating Clinton 2-1 before falling to Lake Cormorant 8-0 later in the day.

    Brett Whitlock pitched lights-out from the circle against Clinton, picking up the win while only surrendering one hit to the Arrows.

    Union got off to a quick start, as leadoff hitter Kristen Kennedy reached base in the bottom of the first inning. After a sacrifice bunt from Haley Morgan, Sam Keneker knocked a single up the middle to drive in Kennedy from second and give the Yellowjackets and early 1-0 lead.

    The Arrows battled back with a run in the top of the third, but Union would answer in the bottom half of the inning.

    Once again, Kennedy started the Yellowjackets off, reaching first on a walk. Clinton would then walk Morgan and allow Keneker to reach base on a bunt single to load the bases with no outs for Ebony Buckley.

    The cleanup hitter did not disappoint, lifting a sacrifice fly to center field to score the go-ahead run. That is all Union would need in the game, as Whitlock shut the Arrows down the remaining four innings to give the Yellowjackets their second win of the season.

    “We pitched well, played good defense and hit pretty well too,” Union head coach Jacob Casey said. “It was a great game, and our pitcher pitched real well only giving up the one hit, that was huge.”

    Union could not pull off an opening-day sweep against Lake Cormorant later in the day, as the Yellowjackets only mustered up one hit against the Gators.

    Averi Ponder delivered Union's  lone hit on a double, but it was not nearly enough, as the Gators tagged Whitlock for eight runs to end the Yellowjackets afternoon on a sour note.

    “Lake Cormorant is well coached, and they have a really good pitcher,” Casey said. “They hit really well on the day and they are just a good team. We didn't play as well as we could have,but I won't take anything away from them. They are a great team.”

    Union will face West Lauderdale at 11:00 a.m before taking on Eupora at 3:30 p.m today at Northeast Park.

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