East Lawrence gets rivalry win at Hatton

Mar. 5—HATTON — Hatton hosted East Lawrence on Monday, and the visiting Lady Eagles took home a 6-4 win over the defending 2A softball state champions.

Emma Coan had two home runs, accounting for half the East Lawrence's scoring.

"We communicated really well in this game," Coan said. "We've been having trouble with communication, and we were bats-to-the-ball almost the whole game."

Both sides came out swinging in the game between county rivals. Coan cashed in her initial homer, sending MaKayla Austin home to give East Lawrence a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. Hatton responded in their half of the inning by loading the bases before Adley Armstrong doubled to even the score at 2-2.

"Hatton is always a hometown rival, and this was pretty important for us," said East Lawrence head coach Katie Burden. "We needed this win; they've kind of been in a slump."

Hatton's Anna Potter put the Lady Hornets ahead 3-2 after East Lawrence failed to score in the top of the second. But both teams went silent for the next three innings.

"We were in a slump, and we had to work hard to get our team pumped up," Coan said. "We just had to put the ball in play."

That's what East Lawrence's Kelsi Whitehead did as she doubled in the top of the fifth and sent Austin home. The Lady Eagles held Hatton scoreless for the rest of the inning and continued to stretch their lead in the sixth. Kensley Bowling had a RBI sacrifice fly that scored Averie Hargett, and Austin hit the fence on a triple. Callie Pittman ran home to extend the lead to 5-3.

"Our focus has just been to look for the next opportunity," Burden said. "That's something that's been really important for them, and something I've been stressing as a coach."

Coan hit a solo home run in the top of the seventh. But the Lady Eagles walked Arlie Armstrong in for the last Hornet run in the bottom of the last inning.

Kelsi Whitehead won the pitching battle, allowing three hits and one run over four innings. On the other side of the plate for East Lawrence, Coan led with three hits and three RBIs. Austin had a triple and base hit for one RBI, and Bowling had the last RBI to round it out for the Lady Eagles.

For Hatton, Adley Armstrong had a two-RBI double. Anna Potter had three hits and an RBI. Ava Lovelady had one RBI.