By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
NETTLETON – Nettleton eased into its fourth straight Class 3A North finals series Saturday with two five-inning wins against Booneville, 11-1 and 13-1.
“The girls have taken it upon themselves to say ‘We want to win,'” Nettleton coach Dana Rhea said. “They’ve done a great job.”
Nettleton and South Pontotoc will meet for the first time this season on Tuesday in Springville. Defending champion Nettleton is trying to get to its fourth straight state title series.
In Game 1, Kaleigh Tackett’s two-run home run started a five-run first. Jabria Pounds homered in the second for a 6-0 lead. The Lady Tigers (26-2) scored five in the fourth on two walks, an RBI single from Anna Kent and an RBI double from Harley Tucker.
In the second game, Booneville (15-14) was down 4-0 in the fourth and had the bases loaded with one out. After a foul out and run on an error, Nettleton shortstop Lauren Baldwyn snagged a liner to end the inning.
Tucker had a huge game, 3 for 3 with two doubles and a 3-run home run. She drove in four. The homer came in a nine-run fifth.
Pounds was intentionally walked for the second time and Tackett walked in a run before a 2-run double from Baldwyn and a 2-run single from Kent, who improved to 26-2 on the season. Kent had three RBI in the final inning.
Booneville had three hits in the game, two of those from Courtney Deaton. Nettleton had 14.
Booneville had two hits in Game 1, both in the fourth, Kayla Moore’s single and Chloe Eubank’s RBI double. It had four errors.
“A team that hits like that, you’ve got to play exceptional defense. We didn’t but they hit the ball well. Those home runs, you can’t do anything with them,” Booneville coach Tommy Fraiser said.