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Girls Varsity Softball · Panther Softball Falls to Rusk

From George Whitley at ETVarsity/Longview News-Journal:

Riding the right arm of Presley Cox and posting three spots in the second, fourth and sixth frames, enabled the Rusk Lady Eagles to bag a 10-4 non-district win over the Spring Hill Lady Panthers here Tuesday night.

Cox improved her record in the circle to 4-1 with an 11-strikeout performance. The Lady Eagles move their overall ledger to 6-7-1, while the Lady Panthers slip to 4-5-1 on the young season.

Spring Hill got a commendable effort in the circle from freshman Samantha Schott, who scattered six hits, struckout four and walked four in the loss.

The Lady Panthers scratched first with a single run in their half of the first inning. Second sacker Maddie Malloy lifted a 1-1 Cox offering to dead center. The ball got up in the cool evening air and carried out for a solo home run and a 1-0 lead. Malloy also added a single in the fourth and scored her second run of the contest.

Schott, looking anything but a fledgling frosh, retired Rusk in order in both the first and seventh. It was everything in between the start and finish that spelled defeat for the young pitcher.

Cox worked a full-count free pass from Schott to start the second. She’d be chased home in front of a run-scoring triple off the bat of Lady Eagle catcher Lauren Boudreaux, who took a 0-2 pitch the opposite way to right field and wound up standing at third.

Kaley Millsaps pounded the first pitch she saw over the wall in left center for a 2-run dinger and a 3-1 Rusk lead. Grace Young beat out an infield single in the fourth and scored on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Emmy Shaw in the third inning.

Spring Hill responded with two runs in the bottom portion. Third baseman Sydney Johnson clubbed a shot that hit the wall just inside the foul pole in right and resulted in a one-out double. Jayla Landrum proceeded to find a hole in right center and plated Johnson with an RBI triple.

Landrum eventually crossed on an error in field by the Lady Eagles and the Lady Panthers cut the deficit to a single run.

Millsaps opened the fourth with a base on ball and Abby Pepin was plunked by a Schott pitch. Miriam Morin moved both runners up with a well-executed bunt. Victoria Ivy was safe on a fielder’s choice to load the bases with just one out.

Kristen Tugwell belted the first of two doubles and pushed across Pepin, Ivy and Young for a 7-3 advantage. The Lady Panthers scored their final run of the night in their half of the fourth when Malloy continued her hot hitting with a two-out single to left center.

Another Lady Eagle error in field enabled Malloy to score her second run and pull the Lady Panthers within three runs. Cox got Spring Hill in order in the fifth, fanned three and worked around a Schott single in the sixth.

Rusk essentially put the game away in the top portion of the sixth with three runs on one hit and an error in the field by Spring Hill.

The Lady Panthers return to play Friday when they host Henderson.