Rams slam MLK
Newton homers twice in win over region foe

COVINGTON - Whether in the field or in the batter's box, the Lady Rams played a solid game as they beat M.L. King 8-0 in five innings at Turner Lake Complex on Tuesday.

Newton pitcher Shea McInerny collected the win, striking out nine batters while giving up three hits - one in the second, third and fourth innings.

"Shea's got real good movement. She's able to locate really well and is able to keep the ball waist high on good hitters," Newton coach Virginia Waters said. "Shea kept them off balance."

Offensively, the Lady Rams (9-3 overall, 3-2 Region 2-AAAAA) were aggressive and patient at the plate with seven hits, including two home runs a double, and six walks.

Pacing the home team at the plate was Markea Sheppard, who went 3-for-3 with a home run and a double.

Also getting a home run, although it did not go over the fence like Sheppard's, was Kelsey Swinson.

"What can you say about Markea? That's her fourth home run. We have no doubt she can do it. She probably has the quickest hands coming through the ball. Kelsey just realized the girl was playing in a little too far. You definitely have to play to the opponent's weakness," Waters said.

Newton jumped out to an early lead in the first with Sheppard scoring on a throwing error to make it 1-0. Chaconna Marks and Chermisha Roberts also crossed the plate in the inning to give the Lady Rams as 3-0 lead.

Swinson was able to hit the ball over right-fielder Sara Hodo for an in-the-park homer before Sheppard knocked one over the fence to give the Lady Rams back-to-back homers in the second.

Newton's final three runs, one in the fourth and two in the fifth, came when Lady Lions pitcher Tiffani Pearson walked Roberts, Sami Becker and Swinson with the bases loaded.

Also getting hits off Pearson were Zhandria Usher, Letice Albert and Marks.

"Anytime we have a girl that can throw several different pitches, our girls aren't able to pick up on it as well as a girl that can just throw the ball hard," Waters said. "That's what M.L. King's pitcher does, throw it down the middle and hard. I know we have a good hitting team, but that's going to have to come from the girls."

Manny Fils can be reached at manny.fils@newtoncitizen.com.