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Lady Hillbillies blank Lady Panthers in sectional play, Cooper strikes out 17 in two-hit shutout

Man's McKinlee Cline lays down one of her two sacrifice bunts during the first inning of the Lady Hillbillies 4-0 win over Tug Valley in the Class A Region 4 Section 1 tournament Wednesday night at Man High School (Photo by Bill Lusk/WVOW Sports).

Bill Lusk | WVOW Sports

MAN Morgan Cooper continued her dominance in the circle Wednesday night as the top seed and sixth-ranked Man defeated fourth-seeded Tug Valley, 4-0, in the Class A Region 4 Section 1 tournament at Man High School.

Cooper controlled the Lady Panthers offense, striking out 17 and allowing two hits in a complete game shutout as the Lady Hillbillies won their 10th straight game.

Cooper's 17 strikeouts give her 204 on the year as she improved her record to 13-3. Over her last 63 innings, she has allowed just one run and 12 hits while striking out 132 hitters and walking only 13.

The Lady Hillbillies (14-3) have outscored the opposition, 56-1, in their last 10 games and will face second seed Buffalo (Putnam) Friday night at 6:30 p.m. at Man High School in the winner's bracket of the double elimination tournament.

The Lady Bison advanced with a 7-4 win over the third-seeded Sherman Lady Tide Wednesday night. Both Sherman and Tug Valley (15-12) will host elimination games on Thursday.

The Lady Tide will host county rival Van while Tug Valley host rival Tolsia.

After two and half scoreless innings, Man scored four runs in the bottom of the third to take a 4-0 lead providing Cooper with enough run support in the circle.

Zoey Jackson started the inning with a walk. Following a Kylie Blevins fly out, McKinlee Cline laid down a sacrifice bunt and reached base safely on a throwing error that allowed Jackson to advance to third base.

Cooper legged out an infield single that allowed Jackson to score from third putting Man on top, 1-0. A wild pitch moved Cooper and Cline to second and third and Mattie Carroll followed with a two-run double to center field to increase the lead to 3-0.

Peyton Lusk followed with a hard-hit groundball that took a hop over the glove of second baseman Tailyn Russell allowing Carroll to score from second base for a 4-0 lead.

Cooper set down the first 10 hitters in the Tug Valley lineup, striking out nine of the 10, before Kinna Justice singled with one out in the fourth inning.

Cooper would retire the next eight Lady Panthers before Justice singled to leadoff the seventh for her second hit of the game. A two out walk to Haleigh Muncy gave Tug Valley runners on first and second, but Cooper struck out McKynnli Farley for her 17th and final strike out for the complete game win.

Justice started in the circle for Tug Valley and allowed four runs on four hits while striking out five, walking one and hitting one in six innings.

Carroll finished 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs, Cooper went 1-for-3 with one RBI and Blevins was 1-for-4 with a first inning double for the Lady Hillbillies.



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