North Hopkins knocked out by McLeod for second straight year
Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer

May 12, 2005 - MOUNT PLEASANT - This one had to hurt for the North Hopkins Lady Panthers.

For the second straight year, NHHS (17-10) was knocked out of the Class A, Region II playoffs by the No. 3-ranked McLeod Lady Longhorns, this time by a 20-0 final on Wednesday.

"Everything that we tried to throw at McLeod they were able to hit in the game," NHHS coach Jim Westbrook said. "I don't believe I have ever been run-ruled when I had Lacie Palmer in the circle for us. McLeod is a very good team, and I hope that they can win it all this year."

Palmer, a senior, took the loss in the circle for the Lady Panthers giving up 18 runs on 19 hits in 3 1/3 innings, as McLeod jumped out to an early 3-0 lead after the first inning.

McLeod's Olivia Hale singled with one out and scored on Whitley Allen's RBI double for a 1-0 lead, then Jessica Mahone singled and stole second, before Haley Fitzgerald rounded out the first inning with an bases-clearing two-run single for the 3-0 lead.

In the top of the second inning, everything that could go wrong went wrong for the Lady Panthers as McLeod scored 10 runs on 10 hits to take a 13-0 lead into the third inning.

The Lady Longhorns opened up the third inning with singles from Sarah Caldwell and Regan Dunlap to put runners on first and second, and Hale smacked a two-run double for a 5-0 lead.

Andrea Dunn then tripled, scoring Hale, and Allen drove in Dunn with a single for a 7-0 lead. Mahone then reached with a single scoring Allen, and Fitzgerald drove in Mahone. Kayla Otwell nailed an RBI single, followed by Prince driving in Fitzgerald for a 11-0 lead, Dunlap drove in Otwell, and Hart rounded out the inning with her second run on an error.

In the fourth inning, McLeod scored seven more runs off of Ashley Wilson and Maegan Baxter. After Caldwell started the inning with a double, pinch-hitter Amanda Arnold drove Caldwell in with a single and scored on an RBI single by pinch hitter Maegan Young.

Hale then rapped an RBI double, Dunn hit a sacrifice fly, Allen doubled, pinch hitter Katie Blackwell walked, and Fitzgerald nailed a two-run RBI double, scoring Allen and Blackwell for the 19-0 lead. Fitzgerald rounded out the scoring on a North Hopkins error for the 20-0 finale.

Wilson led the Lady Panthers going 2-for-2 with two singles, while teammates Katy Williams, Jessi Mannis and Sara Weir each went 1-for-2 at the plate.

McLeod was led by Fitzgerald who went 4-for-4 with five RBI and two runs, while Allen, Hale and Dunlap all went 3-for-4 in the game. Dunlap picked up the win with a complete-game five hitter while striking out two batters.

Notes: After the death of Scarlet Thompson last year from injuries suffered in an automobile accident before the regional semifinals, the two teams played in Mount Pleasant with McLeod taking a 1-0 win off of Palmer in that game. ... McLeod will play Ector in the Class A, Region II semifinals next week. ... Ector beat Valley View, 13-0, in their regional quarterfinal match-up.

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