Narrow victory prepares Panthers for what’s to come


Katie Linkner

Sophomore Lauren Flanders heads home from third base. Flanders displayed aggressive baserunning, helping the team to its eighth straight win.

Bekah Algaze, Staff Writer

Last Tuesday, the Lady Panther softball team defeated the Newnan Cougars in a close game, winning 4-3.

We had good pitching, we made plays on defense, and we had timely hits when we needed them.”

— head coach Mark Williamson

“We had good pitching, we made plays on defense, and we had timely hits when we needed them,” head coach Mark Williamson said.

In the first inning, the Lady Cougars displayed their playing abilities early on with not only hitting but running  and scoring. When the next batter came up to the plate, she hit to deep left field, but out of the two runners on base, only one of them was batted in. The runner on first was tagged out on a throw from senior Kate Ashmore to sophomore Lauren Flanders.

Despite strong hits throughout the game, the Lady Panther defense used accurate catching and throwing to prevent many players from scoring.

In the second inning, both teams made contact with the ball, but due to defensive strides from both sides neither teams scored. At the top of the second, freshman pitcher Lilli Backes struck out two batters. The third batter hit to senior shortstop Alyssa Angelo who threw to junior Paige Andrews ending the second inning.

“The pressure was on so I did better,” Backes said, “and I think the team believing in me helps me.”

Katie Linkner
Freshman pitcher Lilli Backes throws a pitch. Backes pitched a complete game, striking out nine Newnan batters.

Up until the bottom of the fourth, the Panthers and the Cougars were tied 1-1. When Ashmore came up to the plate, with two outs and all three bases loaded, a hard hit between centerfield and right field sent two runners home, breaking the scoring drought and putting the Lady Panthers up two runs.

“I try to be aggressive when I can and really that’s all there is to it,” Flanders said.

Despite the Mill’s two-run lead, the top of the sixth inning was favorable for the Lady Cougars. After two outs, the Cougars added two more runs. A deep outfield hit sent another runner home and sent both teams into the bottom of the sixth tied 3-3.

By the bottom of the sixth inning, Flanders’ speed combined with errors from Newnan’s defense allowed her to score the run needed to take the lead in the game. Flanders hit to third base, but after a wild throw from third to first, she advanced all the way to third base. The next batter, senior Lea Duben, hit a line drive to left field which was caught then thrown home in an attempt to tag Flanders out. She scored after another wild throw from left field to the catcher.

“We like playing games like this,” Williamson said, “because it makes us more comfortable when a situation arises.”

Riding an eight-game win streak, Starr’s Mill (14-1) hosts Griffin (4-6) in a region match-up at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 6. The Lady Panthers are currently undefeated in region play.