Lady Mavericks earn shutout victory at Benton

By CATHRYN CARTWRIGHT,

The Manchester Academy softball team defeated their rivals at Benton Academy on Tuesday, with a shutout score of 11-0 across five innings.  This improves the Lady Mavericks season record to 11-1 overall, and 4-0 in district.

Manchester took the lead in the second inning with a score of 1-0, and added to that lead with every new inning.  The Lady Mavericks continued to bring home more runs, scoring 4 in the third inning, 4 in the fourth, and another 2 in the fifth, wrapping up the game.

Manchester's Coach Robert Black said that the Lady Mavericks' pitching and defense was fantastic during this game.

"Benton has been putting up big numbers offensively all year, so to shut them out was quite an accomplishment," he said.

Black said that it was a team effort on offense, with eight girls getting at least one hit during the game.

Maci Lowery, Lizzy Carpenter, and Anna Kate Griffin had two hits each on offense. Sydney Porter collected 3 RBIs in the game, while Maci Lowery, Lanie Potter, and Lizzy Carpenter had 2 each, and Anna Kate Griffin had one.

Sydney Porter took the win on the mound for the Lady Mavericks by pitching five innings, allowing only five hits, no walks, and striking out two batters.

On the Benton Academy side, Zoi Pate and Brittany Bigford each got big hits for the Lady Raiders.

Kaitlyn Warren took the mound for the Benton Academy once again as a backup for starting pitcher Gracey Manor who was only able to pitch a couple of innings as she recovers from a shoulder injury.

"Not having our starting pitcher at 100 percent made a difference but I'm proud of 6th grader Kaitlyn Warren for stepping up and throwing strikes for us," said Benton's Coach Natalie Whitehead. "Unfortunately we had too many errors in the field and didn't execute in the box to compete with Manchester that night."

Black said that this district win will help the team's seeding as they draw closer to the South State Tournament in late September.

Black said that some player statistics over the last 12 games include two Manchester girls whose batting averages are over .500, which includes Maci Lowery with .583 and Lanie Potter with  .526.  Other girls with high batting averages for the season are Sydney Porter with .436 and Lizzy Carpenter with .417.