By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
BOONEVILLE – It took Boone-ville a little while to get going Tuesday, but the Lady Devils did in plenty of time for a two-game sweep of Leland in the opening round of the MHSAA Class 3A slow-pitch playoffs.
Booneville won 12-6 and 16-3 and advanced to a state quarterfinals best-of-three series Saturday at Nettleton.
The Lady Devils had to adjust to the pitching of Leland’s Shi’Nico Morris.
“It’s a major adjustment if the ball is around six feet. In the second game, we talked about loading up and getting ready to go,” Booneville coach Tommy Fraiser said.
Booneville (15-12) scored three runs in the second inning of the opener. Annabeth Ford reached on an error with two outs. Bailey Hankins singled and two scored on an error, Courtney Deaton’s RBI single made it 3-0. Deaton was 6 for 7 with a pair of triples.
Keanna Nealon doubled in the tying run in the fifth but Leland (12-8) had 11 errors.
“We played decent ball but the errors got us,” Leland coach Herman Brown said.
Two errors on the same play in the fifth led to two runs for a 5-3 lead. Maria Lauderdale reached on the inning’s fifth error and Chloe Eubank scored. AC Ivy added an RBI single. Lauderdale (6-4) had both wins. Deaton’s RBI triple was the first of five runs in the sixth.
“It took us a while to get used to the pitching,” Lauderdale said. “We’ll give our hearts Saturday.”
Game 2: Fast start
In Game 2, Booneville scored three runs in the first after a leadoff triple from Deaton and RBI single by Bre Agnew.
Booneville added four in the second, started by Karah Stephenson’s leadoff hit, the first of seven in the inning.
A Deaton single and two errors in the third led to three runs, the big hit a double from Cora Geno. Booneville added five in the fourth on triples from Hankins and Stephenson and an Agnew double.