The Latta Lady Panthers flexed their muscles during a 14-2 win over Coalgate in the first round of the 2013 Beast of the East softball tournament Thursday in Stonewall.
Latta pounded six home runs among 13 hits in just three innings of work in the impressive run-rule victory over the Lady Wildcats.
The Lady Panthers, ranked No. 7 in Class 4A, improved to 7-5 on the spring, while Coalgate (No. 12 in Class 4A) fell to 7-4.
“We told them before the game started to find dead center on the ball, let it fly and see what happens. The wind was blowing, and we got some to fall out,” Latta head coach Jim Foster said of his team’s home run six-pack. “I was impressed with the way they found the center of the ball.”
In another early first-round matchup, Byng scored four insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth to finally get some breathing room in a tough 11-6 win over upset-minded Stuart.
The Lady Pirates, ranked No. 9 in Class 5A, improved to 6-1, while Stuart (No. 11 in Class 2A) fell to 9-3.
Latta 14, Coalgate 2
Jordyn Scott started off the Latta home run derby, making Coalgate pitcher Stasia Roebuck pay for walks to Carlee Henderson and Madison Abney with a three-run blast over the center field fence. Autumn Balch followed a Katie Miller single with an RBI double off the fence in left-center. Sydney Brinlee then blasted a two-out, two-run homer to push the Latta lead to 6-0 heading into the second inning.
Coalgate got on the scoreboard in the top of the second when Landi Munholland singled, went to second on an error and later scored on Latta’s second miscue of the inning.
Makenzi Lamb got into the home run act when she hit a two-run blast following a single by 11-hole hitter Tyler Ann Whitney in the bottom of the second that gave Latta an 8-1 lead.