Lady Lions earn state tournament trip

Monday, May 9, 2016

Manila Lady Lions punched their ticket to the Class 3A State Softball Tournament with an 8-5 victory over Flippin in Thursday's first round regional action at Harrison.

The Lady Lions scored a run in the second, tacked on five more in the third and put two more on the board in the fifth to build an 8-1 lead. Flippin scored four times in the seventh inning but saw their rally fall short as their season came to an end.

Jordyn Wheeler went the distance to pick up the win, giving up five runs, one earned, while allowing eight hits. The junior right hander struck out six and walked one.

Sasha Pannells singled, tripled and drove in three runs to lead the Manila offensive attack. Ashley Rothwell singled, doubled, scored once and drove in a run. Jill Helton tripled and scored twice. Wheeler doubled and scored a pair of runs. Tessa Pannells stroked a two-run single and scored once. Mollie Beth Couch had an RBI single, Lauren Woody scored a run and had an RBI while Caitlin Holt crossed the plate once.

Manila fell in the semifinals to conference foe Piggott, 4-3, on Friday afternoon. The Lady Mohawks built a 3-0 lead after two innings, but the Lady Lions rallied, scoring single runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings to square the game at three runs apiece. Piggott scratched out a run in the bottom of the sixth to take a 4-3 lead, and shut down Manila in the seventh to advance to the regional championship.

Wheeler was the tough luck loser, going six innings, allowing four runs, three earned. Wheeler scattered eight hits, fanned four and issued two base on balls.

Helton laced an RBI single and scored a run. Rothwell doubled and scored once. Hampton and Tessa Pannells both singled. Wheeler had an RBI while Woody scored a run.

Manila outslugged Melbourne 11-7 in Saturday's third place game. Wheeler picked up the win, going seven innings, allowing three earned runs on 11 hits. Holt ripped a three-run triple and scored once. Wheeler helped her own cause, going 2-5 with three RBI. Tessa Pannells singled, doubled and scored a run. Rothwell laced a two-run single. Taylor Hampton singled and scored a run while Madison Bibbs and Sasha Pannells scored three runs apiece. Helton crossed home plate twice.

Manila will open state tournament play Thursday afternoon at 12:30 in Smackover. The Lady Lions will take on Booneville.

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