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Centreville takes two from Glenbrook to win Class 2A State Title

CENTREVILLE — The Centreville Academy Lady Tigers were on their home turf Tuesday night and having the home-field advantage paid off in a big way as they defeated the Glenbrook School Lady Apaches twice to capture the MAIS Class 2A Fast-Pitch State Championship.

Centreville Academy entered Game 2 of the best-of-three series trailing defending Class 2A state champion Glenbrook one game to none. Needing a victory to keep their state title hopes alive, the Lady Tigers shut out the Lady Apaches 3-0.

“The biggest thing I said (before Game 2) was to settle down and block out all the hype. They managed to get that done (Tuesday) night,” Lady Tigers head coach Billy Jones said. “They put it in a positive way.”

Lana Dalton threw a complete-game shutout and scattered five hits. She struck out three and walked two. She was aided by a defense that committed just one error as well as an offense that scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning, one of them on an error, to give Centreville the early lead.

“I think it put them in a little more relaxed mode. I think it’s always good (scoring early) to take the pressure off them,” Jones said. “These kids applied every aspect of the game – defensively, offensively, the mental approach. These kids put it all together like we had hoped for.”

Amanda Newman went 2-for-3 with one run batted in to lead the Lady Tigers at the plate. Savannah Hailey was walked once, reached on an error, and scored two runs. Emilea Roberts was 1-for-2 with a double and one RBI. Rylee Shell was 1-for-3, reached on an error, and scored one run.

In the winner-take-all Game 3, Centreville belted out 11 hits in an 8-2 win to win the state title. Dalton again was sensational on the mound as she allowed two unearned runs, both in the top of the seventh inning, on three hits with seven strikeouts and two walks.

“Lana Dalton threw as fine of two playoff games in a series as I have ever seen,” Jones said. “She did an outstanding job for us both games.”

And Dalton got plenty of early run support as the Lady Tigers scored three runs in the top of the first inning, highlighted by Roberts’ two-run double, and three more runs in the bottom of the third. They would add two more runs in the bottom of the sixth.

“We played a very good defensive team and offensive team. Glenbrook is a solid team defensively. To go in and get that many hits is a testament to our team’s determination and ability,” Jones said.

Shell went 3-for-4 with two runs scored while Roberts was 2-for-4 with three RBIs and three runs scored.

“Rylee, our centerfielder, bats No. 3 in the lineup. She’s a ninth-grader. She is a student of hitting. Her defensive ability goes without saying. Emilea is one our two seniors. She bats No. 4 in the lineup. She’s a strong hitter. She plays really good third base and opens up the game with her hitting.”

Bailey Ford was just 1-for-4 at the plate, but she delivered with three RBIs. Newman was 1-for-2 with two walks and two runs scored. Dalton was 2-for-4 with one run scored. Lexlea Sterling was 1-for-4 with one RBI and Hailey was 1-for-4 with one run scored.

“The atmosphere at the game(s) was amazing. The fan support, the student support, the support from the community was amazing,” Jones said.

Centreville Academy, the Class 2A South State and State champion, finished its season with an overall record of 26-11-1.