Bill Lusk | WVOW Sports
MAN The Man Lady Hillbillies are one away from repeating as Class A Section 4 Region 1 champions after a win over Tug Valley Thursday evening at the Man High School Softball Complex.
Morgan Cooper tossed a two-hitter striking out 13 and hit a solo home run and Olivia Ramsey broke a 1-all tie in the fourth with a single as Man defeated Tug Valley 3-1.
With the win, the Lady Hillbillies improve to 12-3 on the season and advance to Tuesday’s sectional championship game where they await the winner of Monday’s Sherman-Tug Valley contest.
Either Sherman or Tug Valley would have to defeat Man twice to prevent the Lady Hillbillies from winning their second consecutive sectional championship and advancing to next week’s Region 4 championship.
Cooper allowed a first inning home run to Emily Hatfield but settled down to allow just one hit over the final 6 1/3 innings to pick up her 12th victory of the season.
Cooper struck out 13 batters raising her season strikeout total to 202 in 90 innings pitched.
With Man trailing 1-0 entering the bottom of the third, Cooper hit a solo home run over the left field fence to tie the game, 1-1, after three innings.
The Lady Hillbillies plated two runs in the bottom of fourth. Ramsey’s single scored Kirsten Ellis, who led off the inning with a triple, giving Man a 2-1 lead.
Trista Marcum scored on Kaylee Hicks’ sacrifice fly to give Man a 3-1 lead after four.
That would be all the run support Cooper would need in the circle as she retired the final nine batters, she faced in the Tug Valley lineup.
Autumn Hall suffered the loss for the Lady Panthers after allowing three runs on six hits with two walks and six strikeouts in six innings.
Hatfield had a home run for Tug Valley and Kinna Justice had a single for the Lady Panthers only other hit.
Ramsey had two hits and one RBI while Ellis had two hits including a triple and a run scored and McKinlee Cline had a single for the Lady Hillbillies.
Tug Valley falls to 16-13 on the season and will travel to Sherman to face the Tide in an elimination game with the winner advancing to face Man on Tuesday.