Lake bound for stateBy ROBBIE ROBERTSON,
It’s often been said to win a state championship, you have to get a break somewhere along the way.
Ironically, East Union may have given Lake the break it needed.
East Union knocked out Division 4-2A champion Philadelphia, a team that beat Lake twice in the regular season.
Lake took advantage of that and swept two games from East Union, winning 4-3 on Friday and 7-3 on Saturday to advance to the Class 2A state championship series.
Lake improves to 27-9 on the season and will face St. Patrick for the 2A title this week. St. Patrick needed three games to beat Enterprise-Clark, winning Game 1 2-1 and Game 3 7-3.
Game 1 of the series will be Thursday at Southern Miss at 1:30 p.m. with Game 2 of the series on Friday at 1:30 p.m. Game 3 would be Friday if needed.
Lake 7, East Union 3
The Lady Hornets finished off the series late Saturday afternoon with a four-run win over East Union.
Lake jumped out early with three runs in the first inning. Taylor Duncan opened the game with a walk and Laurel Breland reached on a bunt single. Hannah Wilkerson followed with a triple to right field to score Duncan and Breland. Wilkerson scored on an RBI groundout to short by Reagan Clark.
Lake added two more runs in the top of the third as Breland reached on a single to left. After Wilkerson walked, Breland and courtesy runner Josie Gibbs moved up on a steal. Both came around to score on a sacrifice fly to left center by Clark for a 5-0 lead for the Lady Hornets.
East Union finally scratched a run in the bottom of the fourth and Lake answered back with another run in the top of the fifth. Duncan reached when she was hit by a pitch and Breland reached base on a bunt single. Duncan then stole third and scored on a groundout by Wilkerson a Lake led 6-1.
Lake added one more run in the top of the sixth as Olivia Clay and Alana Edmonds singled to open the inning. After advancing on a sacrifice fly to right, Clay scored on a fielder’s choice by Kaytie Hillman for a 7-1 Lake lead.
East Union scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh but Lake held on to take the series win.
Lake had seven hits in the contest as Breland was 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Wilkerson was 2-for-3 with a triple and two RBIs. Clark also had three RBIs for the Lady Hornets.
Duncan got the start in the circle and pitched all seven innings, scattering seven hits and three walks while striking out eight.
Lake 4, East Union 3
The Lady Hornets got 11 strikeouts from Taylor Duncan to take a one-run win over the Lady Urchins on Friday.
East Union took an early lead of the series in the top of the third inning with a single run.
Lake tied the game in the bottom of the third as Duncan reached by when she was hit by a pitch. Duncan then stole second and took third on an error by the East Union shortstop. She then scored when an illegal pitch was called on the East Union pitcher to tie the game at 1-1.
East Union took the lead back in the top of the fourth on an RBI triple by Baylee Parnell to make the score 2-1.
Lake answered right back in the bottom of the fourth when Olivia Clay reached when she was hit by a pitch. Clay advanced to second on a passed ball and scored on a double by Alana Edmonds to make the score 2-2. Edmonds reached third on a wild pitch and was run for by Morgan Bounds. Bounds then scored on a sacrifice bunt by Kaytie Hillman to make the score 3-2.
Lake added its final run in the bottom of the fifth when Laurel Breland reached on a bunt single. After reaching second, Breland scored on an error by the catcher for a 4-2 lead.
East Union scored one in the top of the seventh but Lake got two strikeouts from Duncan to get the win.
Lake had five hits in the contest as Breland was 2-for-2. Edmonds doubled and had one RBI while Hillman singled and drove in a run. Wilkerson also had a triple.
Duncan started in the circle and pitched all seven innings and gave up three runs on six hits and two walks while striking out 11.