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April 21, 2014

Tushka tops Latta, 9-3

Roff —    Hard-hitting Tushka scored four runs in the top of the seventh to break open a tight game and pull away from shorthanded Latta 9-3 Friday in a winner’s bracket showdown of the 2014 Highway 1 Classic in Roff.

   The tournament was completed Saturday afternoon in Latta.

   In an earlier elimination game, upstart Coalgate upset Stonewall 10-6 to become one of the final four teams left standing on the final day of competition.

Tushka 9, Latta 3

   The Lady Panthers (No. 10 in Class 4A) were without the services of slugger Jordyn Scott, who injured her knee after taking a tumble late in Thursday’s 6-3 win over Coalgate. Scott had blasted three home runs in a pair of Latta victories on Thursday before leaving with an injury. The Lady Panthers are expected to find out Scott’s status for the remainder of the season on Monday.

   Senior Madison Abney was also missing on Friday while attending a high school prom in Wayne.

   Latta grabbed the early lead with two runs in the top of the first inning on consecutive, two-out base hits by Shelbey Parnacher, Maria Priest and Chelsea Alexander (who drove in both runs).

   Tushka (No. 1 in Class 3A) countered with two runs in the second and two more in the third to grab a 4-2 lead. The Lady Tigers strung together four hits in each outburst.

   The deficit could have been worse had Latta outfielder Taylor Bates not reeled in a drive by Tushka’s Kelsey Chambers that looked like it might have left the park, if not for the catch near the wall. Another run was voided when Latta rover Chelsea Alexander threw a laser to home to catcher Anna Wood in time to nail Tushka runner Peyton Mobbs, who  was trying to score from second on a single by Jayden Eaves.

   The Lady Tigers (23-2) added a single run in the fifth before Latta (16-8)  got that score back in the bottom of the sixth. Anna Wood led off with a sharp single to left field, and courtesy runner Tayler House motored to third on a base hit up the middle by Savanna Humphrey.

   Autumn Balch followed with her own base hit that scored House from third. Humphrey tried to score on the play but was thrown out.

   Tushka got a two-run homer by Courtney Cook, an RBI double by Said Avants (who had homered to lead off THS' second inning) and an RBI hit by Carissa Moore in the top of the seventh inning.

   Priest, Humphrey and Balch all had two hits apiece to lead the Latta offense.

   Moore and Cook each had three hits in an impressive 18-hit Tushka attack.

Coalgate 10, Stonewall 6

   The Lady Wildcats (19-13) scored eight runs on seven hits — all singles — and three walks in the top of the third inning and held off the Lady Longhorns (22-11) to earn the victory.

   Coalgate scored a pair of runs in the top of the fourth on RBI hits by Shelby Martindale and Tori Lampkin to push its lead to 10-1.

   Stonewall (No. 2 in Class 2A) got five runs in the bottom of the fourth to get close, highlighted by Allie Denson’s three-run bomb.    Mackenzie Davis added a two-run double in that SHS outburst. The Lady Longhorns managed just one more hit over the final three innings as Lampkin — Coalgate’s pitcher — retired 10 of the final 11 hitters she faced.

   “We just never matched Coalgate’s want to win in this game, and it showed,” said Stonewall head coach Brian Davis.

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