Lady Panthers grab pair of wins at Meridian tourney

By Jeff Westbrook
For the Monroe Journal
MERIDIAN – The Amory Lady Panthers traveled to Meridian this past weekend to participate in the Meridian Spring Fling and came away with a 2-1-1 record in the tournament.
In the Friday morning game, the Lady Panthers had a 2-2 tie in seven innings with Nanih Waiya.  Bailey Oswalt, Bailey Boyd and Aynslee Willis all doubled in the bottom of the third inning to give the Amory the early lead, but Nanih Waiya came back and scored a run in the top of the fourth and top of the sixth to tie it up.
Josie Booth pitched the complete game giving up four hits, two walks and had four strikeouts in the game.
In game two on Friday, Amory faced a tough 6A Neshoba Central team coming up short in a 4-2 loss. The Lady Panthers scored early when Shelby Thornton singled in the bottom of the second and then went from first to third on a Carley Westbrook single. With Amory coach Amir Hunt calling a double steal, Westbrook was thrown out at second to give Thornton the opportunity to steal home safely.
Amory added another run in the bottom of the fifth when Oswalt singled, went from first to third on a sacrifice bunt from Boyd and scored on a single up the middle by Willis.
Neshoba Central came back in the top of the sixth and scored four runs on five hits and a walk to seal the win.
The Lady Panthers started off Saturday morning with a 4-1win against Southeast Lauderdale.  Southeast Lauderdale scored their only run in the top of the first with a leadoff walk, hit batter, a sacrifice bunt and single to left to plate the run. Booth found her groove and worked the reminder of the game giving up only four hits with five strike outs, with her lone walk coming in the first inning.
Amory scored two in the second inning after a single by Booth and then a homerun by Carley Westbrook.  The Lady Panthers added two runs the bottom of the sixth after Thornton was hit by a pitch, Booth singled and an intentional walk to Carley Westbrook loaded up the bases. Back-to-back squeeze plays that Erin Griffith and Savannah Nelson laid down brought Thornton and Booth home.
In the afternoon game, Amory finished off the weekend with a 2-0 win against West Lauderdale with a pair of runs in the first being enough to seal the win.
With two outs, Thornton drew a walk, Booth doubled to right field to have runners on second and third, and Wills singled to right field to plate both runs for the Lady Panthers.
Booth pitched a complete game, giving up only four hits in seven innings while striking out five and walking only one.
The Lady Panthers start division play this week by traveling to Tishomingo County on Tuesday night and Shannon on Thursday before hosting the Monroe County Tournament this weekend.