Tuesday, April 16, 2013

SPORTS STORY >> Cabot ladies earn shutout over ’Canes

Leader sportswriter

The Lady Panther softball team made the most of its 7A/6A East Conference makeup game against Jonesboro as it dominated the Lady Hurricanes 9-0 Monday at the Cabot softball complex.

Cabot (10-11, 4-5) totaled 16 hits in the game while Lady Panthers’ sophomore pitcher Kaitlyn Thompson gave up just two hits, one walk, and struck out seven Jonesboro (9-8, 2-4) batters in the complete game performance.

“We got some timely hits,” said Lady Panthers coach Chris Cope. “We had a big fourth inning and a big sixth inning, and kind of took care of business. Kaitlyn Thompson did a good job of keeping the hitters off balance, and then we made some good defensive plays throughout the game as well.”

Senior catcher Taylor Anderson scored the first run for the Lady Panthers in the third inning, but the fourth inning was when they began to light up the scoreboard. Cabot scored four runs in the inning, the first of which was scored by Thompson.

Molly Wood scored Cabot’s third run after reaching base earlier in the inning with the first of her three singles. Macee Abbott and Shauna Attendorn scored the final two runs of the fourth for the Lady Panthers. Abbott reached base on a walk and Attendorn reached on a double.

The Lady Panthers cooled down offensively in the fifth inning, but picked up where they left off at the plate in the sixth with another four-run rally. Three-hole hitter Heather Hill reached base on a fielder’s choice before scoring the first of Cabot’s four runs in the inning, which put the home team up 6-0.

Cleanup hitter Brandyn Vines hit a double the next at bat and later scored the seventh run of the game for the Lady Panthers. Lane Justus and Rachel Allgood followed with base hits, and scored the final two runs of the evening.

The Lady Panthers have steadily gotten better through each game since the start of the season. In many of the team’s early defeats, errors and untimely hits were the cause of them being on the losing side of things. But those miscues are steadily decreasing with each game, which is something Cope hopes will continue as the end of the regular season approaches.

“We are improving every game,” Cope said. “We got some good hits. We swung the bat well. As the game went on we had to make an adjustment with the (Jonesboro) pitcher, but our defense is stepping up big time. We turned a double play. That’s our second one in two games.

“We had two good catches at the fence. So defensively it’s picking up and that’s where we were shaky at times.”

Wood and Abbott led the Lady Panthers with three hits apiece. Vines, Thompson and Hill had two hits each, while Anderson, Attendorn, Allgood and Justus had a hit apiece.

The Lady Panthers continued 7A/6A East play yesterday at home against West Memphis, and will travel to Marion tomorrow for another conference game, which starts at 5 p.m.