|North Hopkins to face Maud in regional quarterfinals|
|Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer|
May 2, 2006 - COMO - Behind a strong pitching performance from junior KayLee Cotten, the North Hopkins Lady Panthers punched their ticket to the Class A, Region II quarterfinals with an 11-1 win over the Cumby Lady Trojans at Lady Eagle Park Monday night.
"At first I started out bad and I wasn't getting good calls," Cotten said. "It started getting better later in the game, and I threw exactly down the middle and then I started getting strikes."
Cotten threw a complete game giving up three hits while allowing three walks and struck out nine batters for the Lady Panthers.
North Hopkins (20-4) will take on the Maud Lady Cardinals (14-12) at 8 p.m. Monday at Mount Pleasant High School.
"We have seen them before and they have more pitching and better hitting and it is going to be more competition," said senior second baseman Ashley Wilson.
Cotten said she knows their next game will be tough and her pitches need to be on the mark to advance to the next round.
"I heard they are pretty good and I am not sure about that, but they said they are good at hitting and that is all," she said.
North Hopkins had multi-hit games from Cotten, Maegan Baxter, Katy Williams, Ashly Hooten and Elizabeth McPherson as each went 2-for-4 in the game.
Cumby freshman pitcher Lindsey Lemon took the loss for the Lady Trojans (8-7) throwing six innings while giving up 13 hits, three walks and five strikeouts.
The Lady Panthers found their groove in the top of the third inning scoring eight runs on four hits against Lemon as Wilson opened the inning with a walk, followed by a single by Cotten and an RBI single by Baxter for the 1-0 lead. Following an error on Williams at-bat, Cotten and Baxter scored, and then Smiddy walked to put runners on first and second with no outs.
Hooten had a bunt single to load the bases and McPherson smacked a single to right field, scoring Williams and Smiddy for the 4-0 lead. Hooten scored on a passed ball, Jessica Harry then walked and McPherson and Harry then capped off the scoring as Wilson reached on an error by Cumby for the 8-0 lead.
"My coach always tell me if I start hitting good then everybody else will follow," Wilson said. "We did a good job in general."
The Lady Trojans came back in the bottom half of the inning with a run of their own off Cotten as Kasidy Huddleston rapped a single to left field scoring Scarlett Tarno for an 8-1 deficit.
Cumby only had three balls hit into the outfield, and Wilson said during practices the team needs to work on grounders to get ready for Maud.
NH extended its lead to 9-1 in the top of the fifth inning as Cotten smacked an RBI double scoring Newkirk and then added two more runs in the top of the sixth inning. Hooten rapped a bases-clearing single to right field as Williams and Smiddy scored for the 11-1 finale.
The winner of the North Hopkins-Maud game will face the winner of the Collinsville vs. Wolfe City-Ector winner in the regional semifinals.