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Limping Lady Eagles oust South Central

Limping Lady Eagles oust South Central
Limping Lady Eagles oust South Central
Lanesville's Makayla Philpott connects with a pitch during Monday's 11-0 win over South Central. Photo by Brian Smith

Next man up.
Cue the football parallels as the Lanesville softball team enters the postseason, with one injury after another shaking the Lady Eagles’ lineup and position assignments.
Despite losing two key players in one week to injury ‘ shortstop Laynie Collins and utility player Olivia Romeo ‘ Lanesville was able to rise and defeat rival South Central 11-0 in five innings Monday. It was the semi-final game of the Class 1A Borden Sectional, advancing the Lady Eagles to the championship game against Southern Athletic Conference champion Borden.
Not only was Lanesville coach Eric Pavey scrambling to plug in players, twirler Katelyn Hurley left the South Central contest after four innings with a sore pitching shoulder.
‘We consider ourselves the mass unit, the walking wounded,’ Pavey said. ‘We’ll give them the (New England Patriots coach) Bill Belichick ‘next man up’ philosophy, but we’re running out of men. We’re down to 10 on our sectional roster. We’re going into our sectional final Thursday with a crutch and a prayer.’
Romeo, who injured her leg, had been slotted the No. 2 pitcher behind Hurley for much of the season. Outfielders Katelyn Pavey and Mckenzie Randolph now become pitching options. Pavey twirled a scoreless fifth against South Central.
‘We have two pitching options left: Katelyn, who hasn’t pitched since eighth grade, or Mickie, who we’ve used sparingly this year,’ Pavey said. ‘We’ll put our best possible defense out there and give Borden a great game.’
To reach Borden, the Lady Eagles had to dispose of South Central.
The Lady Rebels kicked off the game with a sharp double by Jordan Renn. Filling the two-hitter role well, Katie Shoemaker advanced Renn to third with a sacrifice bunt.
A chance to score Renn, however, was spoiled by Pavey. Sydney Lewis’ ball hit just past the pitcher was barehanded by Pavey at short, cutting down Renn at the plate.
From there, the South Central offense manged two more base runners in the fifth inning. By then, Lanesville had put together an 11-0 lead.
Pavey and Regan Walker reached by hit batter and walk before scoring in the first inning. Before South Central recorded the first three outs, Mackenzie Miller and Hurley smacked singles for a 2-0 edge.
Lanesville added three runs in the second with Nia Tomes, Makayla Philpott and Pavey scoring. The Lady Rebels made a pair of errors in the frame, while Hurley brought in a run with her second single.
Michaela Behr and Tomes scored in the third after each drew a free pass from South Central pitcher Lewis. Philpott drove in a run with a hit.
To reach the mercy rule in the fifth, Randolph, Miller and Behr hit consecutive triples. On Behr’s base-clearing shot to right, she circled to score after South Central threw the ball away on the infield. Hannah Walther contributed to Lanesville’s nine hits with a single.
‘We didn’t make any mental errors, mistake on the base-paths,’ coach Pavey said. ‘We were patient at the plate after the first inning or so. We were anxious to start. Once we settled in, we relaxed and hit the ball.’
Hurley struck out three before leaving the game in the fourth but earned the win.
Pavey saw South Central’s Oakley Taylor reach on an error and Maddy Riley draw a walk in the fifth. Getting out of the jam, Pavey struck out a pair of batters before inducing a game-ending ground-out to short.
Lanesville coach Pavey said he was proud of his team overcoming adversity.
‘(The injuries) happened all in one week,’ he said. ‘The girls didn’t let it bother them. They came out today and took care of business. They know it will be a huge challenge facing Borden, but we hope to put in a few good days of practice before then to form a game plan to slow them down.’
The championship game is slated for 6 p.m. tomorrow.

South Central 000 00 ‘ 0 1 4
Lanesville 232 4x ‘ 11 9 1
W ‘ Hurley, L ‘ Lewis.
2B ‘ Renn (SC); 3B ‘ Randolph (L), Miller (L), Behr (L).