Lawrence ladies are Final Four bound

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 12, 2005

MERRY HILL – Lawrence Academy advanced to the Final Four here Tuesday afternoon.

The Lady Warriors, who are the defending 1-A North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association state softball champions, defeated Waccamaw Academy 11-1 in six innings to advance to the Final Four in Nashville Friday.

The Lady Warriors got off to a slow start when Waccamaw used a triple and an RBI-groundout to take a 1-0 lead in the first frame.

Senior Catherine Outten had a leadoff single for the Warriors, but was stranded at third in the bottom of the same inning. The second stanza was almost identical senior as senior Taylor Mizelle singled, but the Warriors couldn’t score.

Lawrence finally got the bats going in the bottom of the fourth frame.

Mizelle walked and stole second and third before Ashley Swain had a bunt single. Both runners scored when Gabby Layton laced a two-run single to left, giving Lawrence a 2-1 lead.

The Warriors plated four more in the bottom of the fifth frame.

Mizelle had a bunt single, stole second and went to third when Swain reached on an error. She then scored on a wild pitch that sent Swain to third. Layton brought Swain home with her third RBI of the day.

Outten reached on a three-base error, scoring Layton and then scored when Jessica Johnston reached on a two-base error, giving Lawrence a 6-2 lead.

The Warriors scored five in the sixth to end the contest.

Rea started the rally with a walk. Debbie Stotesbury, Rea’s courtesy runner, stole second and scored on Mizelle’s bunt single. Swain then drew a walk and went all the way to second.

Following a Morgan Phelps base on balls, all three runners advanced on an illegal pitch, allowing Swain to score.

Layton walked to reload the bases before a pitch hit Outten, forcing Phelps home.

Johnston then reached on an error that allowed Layton and Outten to score and ended the game at 11-1.

While the Lawrence offense was scoring seemingly at-will, Johnston was keeping Waccamaw’s offense at bay. The junior hurler gave up only two hits and walked just one while sitting down 18 of the 20 batters she faced.

&uot;It was a good defensive ballgame,&uot; first-year Lawrence skipper Truitt Johnston said. &uot;We played well defensively.

&uot;Waccamaw was one of the best teams we’ve seen all year,&uot; he added. &uot;They did a tremendous job.&uot;

The Warriors advanced to Friday’s 2 p.m. semifinal in Nashville.