Newton County advances to championship SaturdayBy ROBBIE ROBERTSON,
With a standing-room only crowd on hand, the Newton County Lady Cougars put on a hitting display on Tuesday night.
The Lady Cougars banged out 45 hits and crushed nine home runs as the Lady Cougars thumped visiting Wesson 20-2 and 22-6 to advance to the Class II state championship series.
After the series, Chaney was able to breath a sigh of relief.
“I was here at 5:30 yesterday and thought we had a chance to be pretty good because the ball would be jumping,” Chaney said. “The at 3:05 today, we took BP and it was our worst round of BP all year. I was going crazy. But about 5:30 the wind calmed down and we hit the ball real hard. We barreled the ball up and hit it where we needed to hit them. In the biggest game of the season so far, they really came through and are to be commended for that.”
While the top of the order carried the Lady Cougars in the first contest, the bottom half shined in the second game as hitters five through 10 went 14-for-23 and drove in 14 runs.
“I think the thing I was most proud of was the bottom of the lineup,” Chaney said. “They really hit the ball in game 2. While the top of the lineup was struggling a little bit, the bottom carries us. And that’s what makes you proud as a coach when it’s an entire team effort and that’s what we got tonight.”
Newton County improves to 31-1 on the season and has now won 29 straight games. The Lady Cougars will take on Nettleton on Saturday at Freedom Ridge Park in Madison for the Class II state championship, which combines Classes 3A and 4A. Nettleton beat West Lauderdale 21-11 and 20-10 to advance to the championship series. Game 1 begins at 11 a.m.
Newton County 20, Wesson 2
The Lady Cougars had 22 hits in three innings, including five home runs as the Lady Cougars took Game 1 of the series.
Newton County wasted little time getting going, scoring six runs in the first inning and setting the tone with a three-run home run by Katelyn Gipson. The Lady Cougars went ahead 10-0 with four runs in the second and exploded for 10 runs in the third inning to take a 20-0 lead.
Brittany Thomas was 3-for-3 with two home runs, three RBIs and two runs scored while Lilly Hollingsworth was also 3-for-3 with a three-run home run, two runs scored and five RBIs. Katelyn Gipson was also 3-for-3 with a home run, two runs scored and three RBIs. Lorren Ivey was also 3-for-3 with three runs scored. Lanie Phillips was 2-for-3 while Jada McDougle was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and three RBIs. Landree Amis also had a triple, scored two runs and drove in two runs. Shelby Anderson and Jessi Thaggard each scored two runs.
Newton County 22, Wesson 6
The Lady Cougars overcame an early deficit and finally got rolling with 19 runs in the fourth inning to take the series and advance to Saturday’s Class II state championship series.
County scored two in the first inning but Wesson took its only lead of the series with four runs in the bottom of the second inning. After County cut the lead to 4-3 with a single run in the third inning, the Lady Cougars plated 19 runs in the fourth inning to complete the two-game sweep.
Newton County had 23 hits and took advantage of seven Wesson errors.
Shelby Anderson was 3-for-4 in the game with a home run, two doubles, three runs scored and three RBIs while Lorren Ivey was 3-for-3 with a home run, double, two runs scored and three RBIs. Lanie Phillips was 3-for-4 with a home run, two runs scored and four RBIs while Lizzy Hollingsworth was 2-for-4 with a triple, two runs scored and two RBIs. Landree Amis was 2-for-4 with a double, two runs scored and two RBIs. Karlye Tolbird was 2-for-4 with three runs scored and three RBIs while Jessi Thaggard was 2-for-4 with a double. Jada McDougle was 2-for-4 with a home run, two runs scored and two RBIs.