By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
RIDGELAND – Corinth had to do something only one team had done all season, and the Lady Warriors had to do it twice. Corinth beat defending champ Newton County in three games on Saturday at Freedom Ridge Park, 8-1 in Game 3, to claim the MHSAA Class 4A slowpitch championship.
It’s Corinth’s first title.
An unbeaten Newton County, winners of four of the last six titles, swept Corinth in the finals last season. The Lady Cougars entered Saturday at 31-1. “We knew what we were coming up against,” said Corinth coach Janna LaBarreare. “Last year we didn’t really know if we could even play with them. We were able to. It makes it a little more special to beat somebody like Newton County.”
Corinth won the opener 9-6 and lost 6-3 in Game 2. Stennett Smith had a tworun home run, a double and three RBI in the opener. In the loss, the Lady Warriors (28-9) pulled within a run on one of three hits from Anna Kayte Webb but Ashton Lampton was 6 for 11 for the Lady Cougars.
In the deciding game, the Lady Warriors scored three in the first, two on Portia Patterson’s home run and Webb’s sac fly. “Words can’t even explain how I feel right now,” said Patterson, one of five seniors. “We brought it today and I’m so happy.”
Newton County’s lone run in Game 3 came on Savannah Gates’ RBI single but Corinth pitcher ElizabethWilliams left two on. Williams’ battery mate is sister Rebekah Williams. The two helped strand two in the first and sat down 10 of the last 11 batters behind a stifling defense.
Elizabeth Williams snagged two line drives in Game 3. Corinth scored five in the seventh to seal it on RBI singles from Jamia Kirk and Bailee Kramer and a two-run single from Patterson..
“Last October I told my assistants, ‘Corinth will be back,’” Newton County coach Justin Chaney said.
“They’ve got a tremendous team.”