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East Union showed that practice makes perfect, using a big road loss last week as inspiration in their 9-8 win over Myrtle on Tuesday.
“South Pontotoc beat us bad last week, and they came out here, some of them spent extra time, just doing batting practice voluntarily, and that’s just the team we’ve got, and they played their hearts out today,” Lady Urchins coach Josh Blythe said.
Myrtle jumped ahead 2-0 in the first with the help of back-to-back doubles by Meshay Cox and Jenna Jordan, but it was the five run bottom half response by East Union that gave them the lead for a majority of the game.
With RBI hits from Rachel Elder, Ashley Leach, Callie Frazier and Mallory Roberts in the first, the Lady Urchins maintained their lead until the fourth inning, when the Lady Hawks posted four runs off five hits to take the lead, 8-6.
After hits by Elder and Leach placed them in scoring position in the fifth, Stephanie Hardy tied the game with her two-run single, and the Lady Urchins’ defense held Myrtle, who only had three hits in their final two innings.
Still tied at eight the bottom of the seventh, East Union had three straight hits to load the bases, and a flyout by Tianna Castillo plated Elder to give the Lady Urchins the win.
“They just played with resilience,” Blythe said. “I had four young kids playing, a catcher that had never played a day in her life (Kenzie Roberts); a seventh grader, 12 years old, and she made a great catch early on. Great defense, timely hitting, and we got the breaks too.”
Elder and Leach had three hits to lead East Union (2-3), while Hardy and Roberts had two hits. For Myrtle (4-1), Cox, Jordan, Aspriona Gilbert, Keely Chunn, Emily Cook and Lauren Coggin each had two hits. This is the first loss for the Lady Hawks this season after they picked up big wins last week over New Albany and Tupelo.
Next for the Lady Urchins is a Thursday battle with Ingomar while the Lady Hawks will host New Albany. Both teams will also take part in this weekend’s Robertson’s Sportswear Tournament at the New Albany Sportsplex, but for right now, Blythe and his squad will enjoy the win over their county rival.
“This is the sweetest victory we’ve had so far this year because the girls really worked hard and practiced hard,” he said. “The girls played their hearts out, and that’s what it’s all about.”