Meridian Star

Sports

October 10, 2012

Bulldogs blister Wolves to open playoffs

MERIDIAN —     Nine times Lauren Thrash came to bat Tuesday night and nine times the Clarkdale leadoff hitter didn't see a pitch.

    But it made little difference for the Bulldogs in their Class 2A playoff opener as they hammered visiting Puckett 14-0 and 13-5 with key contributions from Heather Harwell, Molly McLeod and Shelby Blackwell, the three players hitting right behind the senior star.

    "Heather, Molly and Blackwell are going to need to hit behind her, and they have," Clarkdale interim coach Britt Bennett said as his Bulldogs (16-12) advance to host East Webster, a 12-5 and 13-8 winner against Bay Springs, in Saturday's second round.

    "But yeah, she's not going to see many pitches in the playoffs."

    That protection was provided early. In the five-inning opener, Harwell tripled in the first to drive in Thrash and set the tone for the Clarkdale romp. The Bulldogs scored three times in the inning as Harwell scored on a McLeod sacrifice fly and Kristen Mitchell later singled and scored on Sarah Wright's single.

    The Bulldogs tacked on seven more runs in the second as the first six hitters reached. This time, Thrash was intentionally walked to load the bases and again Harwell delivered, singling to score Alex Riser. McLeod then drew a walk and Blackwell singled as well. Riser actually had two hits in the inning, driving in the seventh and final run with her second single.

    Clarkdale, which had 16 hits in the first game, received hits from nine different players. Harwell led the six with multiple hits — Mitchell, Breanna Ivey, Wright, Riser and Kandi Collins — with three. She also scored three runs and drove in two. McLeod, who also earned the win in the circle, knocked in three runs without a hit.

    "That's what I told them, if we hit like that we can beat anybody," Bennett said. "We had a couple booboos on defense and we'll have to clean that up."

    The Wolves provided a tougher test in Game 2 as they answered Clarkdale's first inning run with one of their own. And then after the Bulldogs built a 6-1 lead in the top of the third, Puckett again pulled close with a grand slam. However, that was as close as the Wolves would get as Clarkdale scored in three of the final four innings. Also, Puckett didn't get a hit the rest of the way.

    "That was good, we needed a little challenge," Bennett added. "And we responded.

    "I was pleased with the effort. I talked to them (Monday) about getting that Clarkdale swagger back. We haven't had that the last couple weeks. And playoff time is my favorite time of the year; watching baseball and football games are on and we're in the playoffs. I love October."

    And once again, Thrash's protection led the way for Clarkdale. Blackwell hammered a two-run home run in the third following McLeod's leadoff double. In the sixth as the Bulldogs started to pull away, Harwell doubled and McLeod and Blackwell each provided RBIs. McLeod also added a three-run double in the seventh following an RBI single from Harwell.

1
Text Only
Sports
NCAA Tournament News
Facebook
Facebook
AP Video
Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge US Supports Ukraine's Efforts to Calm Tensions Suspect in Kansas Shootings Faces Murder Charges Ukraine: Military Recaptures Eastern Airport Raw: Storm Topples RVs Near Miss. Gulf Coast NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse Pistorius Cries During Final Cross-Examination The Boston Marathon Bombing: One Year Later Michael Phelps Set to Come Out of Retirement First Women Move to Army Platoon Artillery Jobs Sex Offenders Charged in Serial Killings Police: Woman Stored Dead Babies in Garage OC Serial Murder Suspects May Have More Victims Family: 2 Shot in Head at Kan. Jewish Center Raw: Horse Jumping Inspires 'Bunny Hop' After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida Popular Science Honors Year's Top Inventions ND Oil Boom Attracting Drug Traffickers
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
SmugMug

Local Sports