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New Albany has been on a six year playoff hiatus in slow pitch, and that drought was put to an end Tuesday night. The Lady Bulldogs completed their regular season slate with a 5-2 win over Tishomingo County, and with a little help from Pontotoc defeating North Pontotoc, the Lady ‘Dawgs enter the playoffs as the number two seed in Division 1-4A.
“We’ve been preaching to do the little things right and come out and finish,” NAHS head coach Shane Sanderson said.
“Earlier in the season, they would get an error early and they would get down and have a chain reaction, but we have a lot of play makers and they just needed to relax. We told them to not quit, and we’ve told them that until the final out, we have a chance in every game.”
Defense was the story of the game for the first three innings, and New Albany scored first in the fourth inning. With runners on first and second, Morgan Beaty drove in the first run, but the Lady Braves answered in the fifth, as two Lady Bulldog errors scored Kayleigh Tucker.
Amber Mirfield led off the bottom of the fifth with a triple, and scored on a single from Lauren Cavender to regain the lead.
New Albany allowed three hits in the sixth, including an RBI single by Tucker with bases loaded to tie the game once more.
Jalanna Cameron brought in the go-ahead run for the Lady ‘Dawgs in the sixth, and Ellen Tarrant and Mallory Beaty brought home two more runs to give New Albany the lead and season sweep of Tishomingo County.
“They’ve turned the corner, and I’m proud of them,” Sanderson said.
“They haven’t swept North Pontotoc and Tishomingo in a long time, and slow pitch hasn’t been in the playoffs for a long time, so we’re proud of the effort and this is a quality win for our program.”
Shannon Goode led New Albany with three hits, and Dannah Glover had multiple hits for the Lady Braves, including a double in the first inning.
New Albany will travel to Amory next week in the first round of the 4A state playoffs.