Lady Hounds win 1A state title

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 1, 2000

FERRIDAY, La. – It took an extra inning, but the Huntington Lady Hounds were able to defeat the Franklin Academy Lady Cougars for the second time Saturday to become the Class 1A fast-pitch state champions.

&uot;I can’t say enough about these girls,&uot; said first-year Huntington coach Michael McAnally. &uot;They were so determined. They weren’t going to lose.&uot;

The Lady Hounds were down by a run in the bottom of the fifth inning of the championship game before Mary Ella Green roped a base hit down the third base line to drive in Lindsey Wagoner.

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Huntington then took the lead in the bottom of the sixth when Tiffany Ferguson hit an inside-the-park home run.

The lead was short-lived, however, as Franklin’s Kari Smith hit a long triple and scored when the throw from the outfield was over the head of third baseman Lauren Wagoner, tying the game at 3-3.

In accordance with international rules, both teams began the eighth inning with a runner on second.

Lady Hound first baseman Emily Hazlip made a leaping catch and a quick throw to second for a double play to send Huntington back to bat.

Hazlip then won the game by putting the ball into play and allowing base runner Green score.

&uot;What a way to win a state championship,&uot; McAnally said.

Huntington had trouble defeating Franklin in an earlier match, as well.

The Lady Cougars led 1-0 in bottom of the fifth inning before Hazlip again batted in the winning runs.

A Green single and two walks loaded the bases for Hazlip, who knocked the ball over the fielder’s head in deep right field. Hazlip earned three RBI and made it home on an error.

Huntington won the game 6-2.

&uot;We were both good teams,&uot; said Lauren Wagoner. &uot;I’m proud of everybody. It just came out in the long run that we won.&uot;

Huntington’s first game was against Strider Academy, who the Lady Hounds beat 15-0 thanks in part to a Wagoner home run. Huntington then faced Franklin, who went to the loser’s bracket of the double-elimination tournament after the loss.

The Lady Hounds defeated Deer Creek School 9-4 and made it to the championship game with no losses.

&uot;What a way to go out,&uot; said Huntington’s only senior, Lindsey Kay Paul, who pitched all four games despite a broken finger in her pitching hand.