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Home News-Telegram Sports North Hopkins teams in action Tuesday

North Hopkins teams in action Tuesday

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BIRTHRIGHT — Late May around any school is a hot-bed of activities.
Tests, parties, trips all have been planned and worked around special events like softball and baseball games.
Today is a busy day at North Hopkins with both the boys and girls teams in playoff action.
The Lady Panthers will play at 7 p.m.  at North Lamar against Ivanhoe Sam Rayburn in the regional quarterfinals.
The Panthers take on undefeated No. 1-state ranked Carlisle at 7 p.m. in the Class 1A area playoffs at the Pine Tree Field of Dreams in Longview.
Probable starters for the Panthers include: Jason Leber, third base; Paco Castro, shortstop; Canyon Cockrum, pitcher; Lorenzo Rivera, catcher; Brandon Joslin, first base; Dillon Mitchell, second base; Hugo Santana, center field; Dillon Williams, left field and Richie Porter, right field.
Cockrum is the leading hitter, posting a .536 average with 18 RBIs; Rivera has 19 RBIs with a .487 average and four homers while Castro is hitting .452.
Cockrum has a 5-1 pitching record with one save and a 0.55 earned run average, striking out 55 batters in 36 innings. Castro is 5-2 with 60 strikeouts in 34 innings.
Carlisle, 23-0 for the year, comes into the game having scored 315 runs, averaging 13  a game while allowing just one run a game. The two squads collided in the playoffs last year with the Indians winning in two games by scores of 3-2, 10-0. This year it will be a one game playoff.
“We played them last year and had one close game,” said North Hopkins head baseball coach Tim Henderson. “We know what to expect from them. I think having a one game playoff is a big advantage to us. They have better pitching overall and we just have two good pitchers. In one game like this anything can happen. But they did not get to be 23-0 for nothing.”
The Indians have not lost all year and are even a better team than the one which beat the Panthers last season. Their team features five seniors.
“Carlisle is No. 1, we have nothing to lose. We just want to come and play the best we can,” Henderson added.
The North Hopkins girls also have the attention of the school and are sharing the excitement of the fans with their playoff run.
The team under head softball coach Jim Westbrook has made the playoffs  eight consecutive years.
Probable starting lineup for the Lady Panthers will include: Chastin Smiddy, pitcher; Crissy Hall, second base; Courtney Loper, first base; Jessica Harry, shortstop; Liz Shaw, catcher; Cheyenne Duke, left field; Tana Hall, center field; Grace Cox, right field and P.K. Harlin, third base.
The Lady Panthers come into the playoff game tonight playing well, having swept Dodd City in two shutout wins for the area title last week.
The Lady Panthers pounded the ball collecting 23 hits and 17 runs in the series.
North Hopkins pitchers, Smiddy and Harry, limited Dodd City to six hits and no runs.
The Lady Rebels of Ivanhoe Sam Rayburn (21-10)  come into the game following a 4-3 win over Cumby in spirited softball playoff competition.
Avery Cranford tripled in the winning run. Maddison Foreman stole third bases.
“They (Lady Rebels) are very quick at the top of the lineup,” said North Hopkinscoach Jim Westbrook. “We have to adjust our defense and see what we can come up with - we need quick hands in the infield. Defense has been one of our strong points all year and we will sure need it tonight.”
“I saw Sam Rayburn against Cumby and Cumby struck out a lot. We need to put the ball in play. Both teams were a little rusty,” Westbrook said.
The Lady Panthers have been playing well according to the coach.
“We’ve had three real good games in a row,” Westbrook said. “We want to continue it and we will try. You can’t tell when it is a one-game playoff. We like to play a best-of-three series. When a team wins two games against you, then they’re the better team. Having just one game puts pressure on you, will probably use both pitchers and make some adjustments. They’re no use saving pitchers for tomorrow, you might not get to play another game.”



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