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Even illness couldn’t stop one Lady Bulldog senior from bringing in the game-winning run. Having sat out until the final inning, Tamariaa Ivy stepped to the plate with bases loaded, one out, and with two strikes against her, hit the ball out to left field, bringing in the deciding run, giving New Albany the 10-9 win against Corinth on Monday.
“She did not want to sit out, but she did get sick before the game, and I told her to go home, but she didn’t let us down. She asked if she could sit up top and watch the game, and I let her,” NAHS head coach Shane Sanderson said. “I sent Lindsey (Sanderson) up to ask Tamariaa if she could hit, and she wanted to. I knew she could get the hit we needed, because she’s been hitting the ball well. With one out, we just needed her to put the bat on the ball, and she did with two strikes, so I’m extremely proud of her.”
New Albany only trailed once in the game after Bailee Kramer brought in a run, giving the Lady Warriors a 1-0 lead in the first. The Lady Bulldogs answered in the bottom half, as Mallory Beaty scored on a double by Megan Dye.
Shaneka Cullins’ three-run home run in the third gave New Albany the 4-1 lead in the third, but Corinth quickly responded, scoring three runs off five hits in the fourth to tie the game once more.
Cullins struck again in the fifth with another three-run shot, and New Albany added to that in the sixth with Beaty driving in two runs off her single, making it 9-4.
“She’s been wound up, waiting, and she’s been waiting on a good pitch,” Sanderson said of Cullins’ home runs. “She does that a lot in practice, and she’s been waiting to do that in a game. We’ve been waiting to unleash that monster, and hopefully she’ll stay confident. Today she attacked good pitches.”
Corinth chipped away at New Albany’s lead, tying the game with two outs in the seventh. The Lady Warriors opted to walk Cullins to start the bottom of the seventh, and New Albany loaded the bases on a walk of Quinlan Amos and a single by Kaitlyn Cavender. Ivy stepped in in place of D’Anna Gillen, bringing in the game-winning run.
“I told them, five runs, six runs, it doesn’t matter; it’s Corinth. That’s probably the region one winners right there,” Sanderson said. “I knew we were getting to the heart of their line up and they chipped away, and sure enough, the big girls came in and put them back in it. We helped them some of the way, but credit them, they don’t quit. They’re a good team, and we knew they would hit the ball.”
Beaty led the Lady Bulldogs’ offense with three hits, followed by two hits from Dye, Kayla Pavlick, Cullins and Kaitlyn Cavender.
New Albany will next play Itawamba on Thursday and play at Walnut next Tuesday.