No rust on defending champs

By Kedrick Storey/Southern Sentinel

DUMAS – The Smithville Lady Seminoles hadn’t played in 11 days, so they were “anxious” said Coach Jeremy Duke.
Friday, that anxiousness subsided as they collected 17 hits in a 21-0 rout of the Pine Grove Lady Panthers in Round 1 of the MHSAA Class 1A playoffs.
“It was almost like starting the season over again,” said Duke, whose team is the defending state champions. “I thought our girls did a really good job of being ready to play and attacking the game.”
“But tomorrow’s a new day and anything can happen.”
Game 2 is set for 4 pm today at Smithville.
Smithville scored multiple runs in four of the five innings. They took advantage of three Pine Grove errors and other mental miscues to advance a base at every opportunity. Bunts, infield hits or balls just out of reach of Pine Grove infielders was the theme of the day.
Kayla Ford, one of four Smithville players with three hits, had a bloop 2-run hit that fell just before the right field grass. It gave Smithville a 4-0 lead in the first and the trend continued throughout.
Leading 9-0 after three, they scored six in the top of the fourth. Eighth grader Angel Guyton drove in a run, before scoring on a bunt single by Smithville ace Morgan Barrett. Guyton finished with three hits, including a sure single she legged into a double, three RBIs, three stolen bases and four runs scored.
‘Buzz saw’
Barrett (14-4) tossed just over 50 pitches through three innings, gave up one hit and fanned three. Guyton threw two innings striking out five, including the final two batters.
Pine Grove coach Brad Pounders said his team ran into a “buzz saw.”
“They do everything well,” said Pounders. “We knew that coming in, and we didn’t help the situation with mistakes. When you bury yourself early, it just takes away your fight.”