By Brandon Speck/Monroe Journal
NETTLETON – Graduation has yet to get the best of Nettleton.
The Lady Tigers keep losing players and just keep winning.
Tuesday, Nettleton improved to 12-0 with an 8-7 Division 2-3A win against visiting Mantachie (8-4, 2-1).
“It wasn’t anything fancy by no means but a win’s a win, especially at home. You’ve got to get them all at home,” said Nettleton coach Dana Rhea.
This one was big, a division win that gave Nettleton a leg up in division with a 3-0 mark with three to go.
Mantachie won a Class 2A North title last season. Nettleton lost in the 3A finals after winning it all two seasons ago.
Trailing 7-6 after four innings, Kaleigh Tackett tripled to score Jabria Pounds and Anna Kent’s sac fly scored Tackett for the winning margin.
“We scraped by Mooreville the other night 7-3 in a real good ballgame and another good ballgame tonight,” Rhea said. “That just shows you. This division is stacked.”
Tackett’s tripled slammed of the top of the left centerfield wall just out of reach.
Mantachie’s huge inning came in the fourth when it scored seven runs to take a 7-6 lead.
Allisa Patterson got it started with an RBI double. Alli Devaughn followed with an RBI single and Mallory Clouse’s RBI sac was followed by Shelby Kindt’s two-run double to pull the Lady Mustangs within 6-5.
Maggie Oswalt’s RBI single tied it and Regan McFerrin’s RBI single scored Shanna Carnathan for a 7-6 Mantachie lead.
“The kids didn’t know if they could play with a team like Nettleton,” Mantachie coach Noah Hamilton said. “They discovered they can and we made a couple mistakes there that gave them those two runs that got us beat, but those are learning mistakes.”
Kent improved to 12-0. Brittany Adams (8-4) took the loss for Mantachie. Pounds was 3 for 3 with a double and an RBI. DeVaughn was 3 for 3 with an RBI for Mantachie.
Nettleton had taken a 3-0 lead in the first on an RBI single from Tackett, an RBI double from Kent and an RBI groundout from Korie Beth Leach.
The Lady Tigers went ahead 6-0 with a three-run third on Pounds’ RBI double, Leach’s bases-loaded sac fly and Molly Bramlett’s RBI groundout.