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Lady Colonels fast-pitch softball off to 8-0 start

Lady Colonels are perfect 8-0 after first week of play

By James Beasley
    The state champion Copiah Academy Lady Colonels picked up right where they left off last year as they racked up six wins in their first week of play. Still, veteran head coach Terry Bauer says they can get better, which should be a scary thought for other MAIS teams.
    “We’re playing OK,” Bauer said after the Lady Colonel Classic concluded last weekend, “but not as good as we can. We’re not hitting the way we’re capable of. We’re having good results and like I told the girls, a win is a win. But we’re still trying to jell after being separated during the summer.”
    The Lady Colonels, ranked 3rd overall in the MAIS preseason poll, picked up some impressive wins. Among those was an opening day 11-0 shellacking of 2nd-ranked Bayou Academy, the 6-time defending MAIS A state champion. In that game, starting pitcher Kaitlyn Taylor (1-0) blanked the Lady Colts on five hits and helped her own cause with a pair of singles.
    Kelly Byrd had 3 hits for the winners, while Kamryn Vanlandingham had a double and home run with 3 RBI’s. Newcomer Kaitlin Cooksey also had a pair of hits, while Kelli Berry picked up 3 RBI’s, thanks to an RBI-single and a pair of bases-loaded walks.
    The next day, CA traveled to East Rankin, where they edged the Lady Patriots 7-5. Jordan Jones (1-0) was the winning pitcher and helped her own cause with a pair of singles. Kaitlyn Taylor drove in a pair of runs with a single as Copiah scored 4 runs in the top of the third. Victoria Allen also had a pair of RBI’s for the Lady Colonels, while teammate Lindsey Walker contributed an RBI-double.
    On Thursday, CA traveled to Centreville, where they blanked the Lady Tigers 8-0 as Kaitlyn Taylor (2-0) tossed a 2-hitter. The Lady Colonels could manage only 4 hits, with Kelly Byrd blasting 3 of those, including a pair of doubles with 2 RBI’s. Taylor also had 2 RBI’s for the winners. The only other Copiah hit was an RBI-single by Kaitlin Cooksey in the first.
    The Lady Colonels opened their own tournament last Saturday by nipping Parklane Academy 5-3 in four innings. Jordan Jones (2-0) was the winning pitcher as she held the Lady Pioneers to one hit, a leadoff single in the second inning. Kamryn Vanlandingham had a pair of hits for the winners, including a solo HR leading off the top of the third. Meanwhile, Kelly Byrd had a pair of doubles and Kaitlyn Taylor an RBI-double and a single. In addition, Kaitlin Cooksey contributed a run-scoring double in the top of the fourth.
    In its second game of the tourney, Copiah pounded Centreville 7-1 behind Kaitlyn Taylor’s 3-hitter, improving her record to 3-0. Kamryn Vanlandingham had 3 singles for CA, while Jordan Jones smacked a grand slam HR over the right field fence in the top of the fifth to give the Lady Colonels some insurance runs.
    In Copiah’s final game of the day, the story was Lindsey Walker (1-0), who tossed a 3-inning no-hitter and drove in 4 runs with a pair of hits, including an RBI-double. Kaitlin Cooksey had a pair of hits and 2 RBI’s for the winners, while Sara Ray also contributed a couple of singles.

On Monday, the Lady Colonels defeated Hillcrest 12-0, then followed that up with a win on Tuesday over Starkville Academy, 22-0.

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