By Jeffery Armstrong
The Lovejoy Lady Wildcats softball team ran out to an early 3-0 lead and made that hold up, defeating the Mundy's Mill Lady Tigers 5-2 Tuesday night at Mundy's Mill High.
Brittany Newby and Brittany Evans combined for five of Lovejoy's six hits and Lady Wildcats pitcher Kyle Martin threw a three-hitter, striking out eight and walking one for the win.
"We came out here and played hard. We were focused," said Evans (2-for-3, run, RBI, walk), a senior third baseman. "We didn't take Mundy's Mill for granted even though we beat them big at our place a while back."
Wildness on the pitching mound was Mundy's Mill's undoing (5-5). Lady Tigers' pitcher Michelle Nunes walked seven and struck out one in seven innings. Nunes walked in two Lovejoy runs in the first inning and she threw a wild pitch to complete the three-run first.
Lovejoy (4-2) led 5-0 after four innings when Evans singled home leadoff hitter Jazmine McDaniel. It looked like the Lady Wildcats would blow the game wide open, especially since Martin had a no-hitter at that point.
But Mundy's Mill rallied in the bottom of the fourth. Faith Robinson and Brandi Bullard got consecutive singles, putting runners on first and third with one out. After Bullard stole second, Ashley Hill's groundout scored Robinson for the first Lady Tigers run and Bullard moved to third.
Sharri Shipp then grounded to third, but Evans made a bad throw to first and Bullard scored, cutting the deficit to 5-2. Mundy's Mill threatened to score more runs in the fourth as Aisha Olasimbo singled and Essance Brown was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Martin got out of the jam, striking out Keyanna Shipp to end the threat.
"It was nice to get a win, even though I think I had an off day pitching," said Martin, a junior. "They hit the ball pretty good off me. It was a bit nerve-racking."
Lovejoy head coach Kendra Sewell was glad her team won, even though she said they have some small things to work on.
"I told them before the game not to get overconfident because we beat them 10-2 earlier," Sewell said. "They listened to me and did really well."
In other softball action Tuesday, the Jonesboro Lady Cardinals defeated the North Atlanta Lady Warriors 16-0 in a game called after four innings. Heather Lowry pitched a no-hitter with nine strikeouts and she also drove in two runs. Donisha Harrison had four RBIs and Rachel Nutter drove in three in the contest.