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Strikeout artist: Lowry off to fast start in 2003 season

By Doug Gorman, Jeffery Armstrong and Anthony Rhoads

Jonesboro's Heather Lowry has been a one-woman wrecking crew through her team's first two games.

In victories against Forest Park and Morrow, the sophomore pitcher has struck out 18 batters. Only three of Jonesboro's recorded outs haven't been in the form of a strikeout.

Lowry is also proving she can hit the ball, too. In Tuesday's victory against Morrow she drove in four runs.

Lovejoy falls to McIntosh: The Lovejoy Lady Wildcats lost 3-1 to McIntosh on Wednesday.

Barbara Baker pitched and had a solid outing, allowing just two walks and one earned run.

Megan Ives went 2-for-2 and Katie Vickers collected an RBI. Scoring Lovejoy's lone run was Jazmine McDaniel.

Lovejoy plays in the Sandy Creek Tournament this weekend.

Looking ahead: The Jonesboro Lady Cardinals will have some time off before playing a non-area game against East Coweta.

It's game Jonesboro head coach Jeanine Conkle calls a tough challenge.

"I'm sure they are going to have some good players and probably a very good pitcher," Conkle said.

He's back: One year after giving up his job as the Morrow Mustangs head football coach, Tom Van Tone has changed sports.

The long-time coach and current Morrow athletic director is the head softball coach at Morrow.

Planting the seeds of success: Even though the high school softball season has just started, the Stockbridge Lady Tigers planted some seeds of success in the spring.

Back in May, Randy Stracner met with his returning varsity players to talk about the upcoming year.

"We talked about what we wanted to accomplish this year," he said. "We want to win all our tournaments, win the region and make it to Columbus."

One step in that success was accomplished last weekend when the Lady Tigers won the Jordan Invitational in Columbus.

The Lady Tigers are currently 4-2 on the year and are coming off a 3-1 loss to county rival Union Grove.

Stockbridge gets back into action today at Starr's Mill. In the Jordan Invitational, Stockbridge beat Starr's Mill 2-1.

"It was a great game and it's going to be tough Thursday," Stracner said.

Area opener: Union Grove opens Area 5-AA play today at Holy Innocents.

Last year, the Lady Wolverines won the area championship and made it to the Class AA state sectionals.

This weekend, the Lady Wolverines and the Henry County Ladyhawks will play in the Sandy Creek Tournament.

Union Grove head coach Valerie Stansell said playing tough non-region opponents is essential for her team to be successful in the post-season.

"It gets us prepared for what will happen in October," she said.

A new style: Henry County pitcher/third baseman Erica English tried out a new batting stance against Eagle's Landing Tuesday and she felt it worked for her, even though she looked a little awkward when she struck out swinging in the first inning.

"I was comfortable with my new stance. I think the problem early in the game was that I kept pulling my head out," English said.

Coaches are encouraged to report information to be used in weekly softball round-ups to be run on Thursdays. Coaches can report information and story ideas to (770) 478-5753, ext. 280 or e-mail to sports@news-daily.com. In order for the information to appear in the Thursday edition, the information must be reported by Wednesday at 11 p.m.

Coaches are also encouraged to call in game scores.