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Newton out after Lowndes sweep
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VALDOSTA — The Vikettes swept Newton in the first round of the Class AAAAA state playoffs on Wednesday at the Morris-Coats Field of Dreams. They beat Newton 6-1 in the first game and 9-1 in the second.

Ashley Chapman pitched two complete games, and Lowndes’ offense provided her with plenty of run support in both games.


Game 1: Lowndes 6, Newton 1

Cara Parker gave Lowndes a 1-0 lead when she drove a pitch from Newton’s Letice Albert over the center field fence for a solo home run in the bottom of the first.

Then the Vikettes exploded for five runs in the bottom of the third. With one out, Chapman lined a double off of the fence in left center. Courtesy runner Courtney Steedley stole third. After Parker walked, Maiah Talmage hit a slow roller in front of the pitcher. Steedley raced for home and beat the throw, making it 2-0. Randi Smith hit a ground ball to third,


After Heather Robinson was hit by a pitch, Victoria Barber’s fly ball fell in front of the left fielder, and Talmage scored. Courtesy runner Laina Taylor scored on a wild pitch. Then Kendall Holland ripped a line drive double into the left field corner, bringing home Barber to extend Lowndes’ lead to 6-0.

That was more than enough run support for Chapman. The senior right-hander allowed just five hits and took a shutout into the seventh inning. She struck out nine batters. She was also the only player on either team to collect multiple hits in the first game, going 2 for 4.

Newton got a run in the top of the seventh. Kyanna Notae was hit by a pitch to start the inning. One out later, Albert reached on an infield single. Marie Diaz followed with a single, and Notae scored to make the final score 6-1.


Game 2: Lowndes 9, Newton 1

Lowndes quickly grabbed the lead in Game 2, scoring two runs in the top of the first.

Tiffany Bishop led off the game with an infield single. Chapman followed with a double to left center, putting two runners in scoring position with no outs. Bishop raced home on a wild pitch, then Taylor (who was running for Chapman) tagged up and scored on Parker’s fly ball to center, giving Lowndes a 2-0 lead.

Newton got a run in the bottom of the first. Kelsey Swinson led off the inning with a base on balls, then stole second and took third on a wild pitch. With two outs, Zhandria Usher’s single to left drove in Swinson to cut the Vikettes’ lead to 2-1.

Then the Vikettes pulled away with another five-run third inning. Smith started the inning with a single and Robinson walked. One out later, Chelsea Mefford ripped a pitch off the fence in left center, scoring Steedley (who was running for Smith). Wendy Palmer hit a ground ball to the first baseman, who threw home, but Robinson put on the brakes and went back to third, and all three runners were safe. Then Bishop drew a bases loaded walk, giving the Vikettes a 4-1 lead.

Two batters later, Parker ripped into another pitch and sent it to deep center field. The ball bounced on the warning track and hit the fence. All three runners — Mefford, Palmer and Bishop — crossed home plate, giving Lowndes a 7-1 lead.

Robinson doubled with one out in the fourth and scored two batters later, when Mefford drove a double into the gap in right center, making it 8-1.

Lowndes scored its ninth run in the top of the sixth. Talmage led off with a double to center, and went to third on a fly ball. Robinson doubled off the fence in left, and Talmage scored to make it 9-1.

Chapman held the Rams scoreless in the bottom of the sixth, and the game ended, due to the mercy rule.

Chapman (15-7) allowed one run and five hits in six innings, and struck out 12.

Usher was the only Newton player with more than one hit, going 2 for 4 with an RBI.

and Parker beat the throw home to score another run.