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Panther boys down Lakers


Bo Murphy tossed a two-hitter and drove in Corey Johnson with the winning run for Prairie Heights in a 2-1 triumph over county rival Lakeland in NECC baseball Tuesday evening in Brushy Prairie.

Murphy and Lakeland starting hurler Jalen Priestley were locked in a scoreless duel through the first five innings. The Lakers finally broke the ice in the top of the sixth when leadoff hitter Dustin Cunningham was hit by a pitch, stole second, moved to third on a ground out and scored on a fielder’s choice.

But the Lakeland advantage didn’t last long. Jacob Heller was hit by relief pitcher Alex Pearson to start the Panther sixth. After advancing to second, Johnson sliced a drive to the fence in left field, bringing home Heller with the tying marker.

Two batters later, Murphy lofted a fly ball to short center field which eluded three Lakers. Johnson came home on the safety to put the hosts on top.

Murphy then capped off his complete-game gem in the top of the seventh by retiring Lakeland in order. The junior right-hander gave up just two hits, struckout five and walked two.

Joey Barry had two of the six Prairie Heights (3-0) hits in the contest. Barry also swiped his ninth base of the young campaign.

Austin Keckler and Nick Byler had hits for the 1-1 Lakers.

Priestley allowed just one hit, walked two and whiffed nine in his five innings of mound work.

Big hits by Karissa Troyer and Jill Mingus, along with the overpowering pitching of Ashlynn Grubb carried Lakeland to a 7-1 NECC softball victory over county rival Prairie Heights Tuesday night in Brushy Prairie.

Troyer socked a two-out, two-run double in the first inning to help stake the Lady Lakers to a 3-0 lead. Grubb began the rally with a single, while Mingus followed with a double off the right-field fence.

In the second inning, Madison Campbell singled, stole second and came home on a double by Morgan Meyers. Later in the frame, Mingus blasted a shot over the right-field fence to extend the Lakeland edge to 6-0.

That was more than enough support for Grubb, who held the Lady Panthers hitless through the first six innings and would finish with 19 strikeouts. Brennica Smith broke up Grubb’s bid for a no-hitter when she doubled with two outs in the bottom of the seventh.

Troyer, Grubb, Paige Gust and Ashton Miller joined Mingus with two hits. One of Miller’s safeties was a RBI double in the fifth.

Shawna Carbone started for the Lady Panthers and took the pitching loss. Taryn Neff came on in the third and went the rest of the way, striking out four and walking two.