North Hopkins seniors win final home game of season
Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer

Cutline: North Hopkins seniors put themselves in position for a District 14-A championship with a win over Saltillo on Monday. The seniors are (l-r) Elizabeth McPherson, Katy Williams, Ashly Hooten, Maegan Baxter and Ashley Wilson.
Staff Photo by Joseph Elerson

April 18, 2006 - BIRTHRIGHT - For North Hopkins seniors Ashley Wilson, Maegan Baxter, Ashly Hooten, Katy Williams and Elizabeth McPherson, their senior day could not have gone any better Monday afternoon.

Dealing with record heat and a perfect game from Lady Panther pitchers KayLee Cotten, Chastin Smiddy and Jessica Harry, North Hopkins dealt Saltillo a 15-0 thumping.

North Hopkins (17-4, 8-1 in District 14-A) has one more game at Rivercrest Friday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. and can claim the district title with a win.

Williams led the way at the plate going 3-for-3 with four runs scored and one RBI, while Baxter went 2-for-4 with one run scored and one RBI, and Cotten went 2-for-3 with one run scored and three RBI. Every batter but one had at least one RBI in the game.

Saltillo pitcher Chloe Roberts took the loss in the circle going 3 2/3 while giving up 12 hits, 15 runs, three walks and three strikeouts.

NH opened up the first inning with two runs off Roberts as Wilson was hit to open the inning and then pulled a double steal to reach third base before Baxter popped out. Hooten then plated Wilson with a sacrifice bunt for the 1-0 lead.

Williams then singled and scored on three consecutive passed balls for the 2-0 lead.

The Lady Panthers found their offense in the bottom of the second inning scoring eight runs as 13 batters came up in the inning.

They opened up the inning with back-to-back triples from Smiddy and Harry and then got a single from Cayla Newkirk, who stole second and reached third on an error on Wilson's at bat. Baxter then drove in Newkirk and Wilson to give the Lady Panthers a 6-0 lead as she scored on a passed ball with no outs in the inning.

Hooten then reached on a single and Williams had the third triple of the inning scoring Hooten. Elizabeth McPherson then had an RBI grounder, Cotten reached on a double, and Smiddy followed with a sacrifice fly for a 10-0 lead.

Cotten, Smiddy and Harry faced the minimum amount of batters in every inning while only having three combined strikeouts in the game.

North Hopkins scored two more runs in the bottom of the third inning as Cotten rapped a double into center field scoring Hooten and Williams and then the Lady Panthers scored three in the bottom of the fourth to end the game.

In the fourth, Newkirk opened with a walk, followed by singles from Wilson and Baxter to load the bases, and then Roberts walked Hooten to score Newkirk. Williams followed with a single and then McPherson and Cotten had RBI fielder's choices and Williams scored on a passed ball for the 15-0 finale.

Notes: Before the game, NH coach Jim Westbrook recognized the seniors and presented each of them with a rose. ... Following that presentation, Wilson took the microphone and presented Westbrook and his wife with a new hat signed by the seniors and a photograph of the seniors. ... The Lady Panthers have outscored their past two opponents, 33-0, as Cotten has only allowed one hit in six innings during that stretch.

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