COVINGTON - Either gasports Class AAAAA No. 7 ranked Greenbrier is over ranked or the Lady Rams are better than they get credit for, as it took Greenbrier eight innings before putting Newton away in a 3-1 game Thursday at Turner Lake Complex.
"It's like I told the girls, I know they're capable. We hung with Union Grove until late innings and they're state ranked. We beat Parkview who was state ranked. And we just held (Greenbrier) through seven innings of scoreless ball," Newton coach Virginia Water said.
The Lady Rams held Greenbrier to four hits through the first seven innings of play and never allowed more than one hit an inning.
Pitching for Newton was Shea McInerny, who had one strikeout and one walk while giving up eight hits.
"I've been working with Shea on these teams that have power hitters. We have to make sure that location is on target the entire game."
Newton almost allowed the Lady Wolf Pack to score in the sixth and seventh innings but its defense was able to rise to the challenge keeping the game scoreless.
In the top of the sixth, an error gave Kaila Hunt the chance to go from first to third base. However, freshman Letice Albert was able to throw her out at third.
A mental lapse by Newton's defense let Greenbrier get runners on first and second base with one out. But McInerny was able to snag a line drive before Markea Sheppard tagged the runner to end the inning.
Also having a good night defensively was Zhandria Usher who had seven put-outs including an unassisted double play in the eighth inning.
"She is taking the role of her older sister, Shandria. You couldn't get anything past Shandria and Zhandria is the same capable, talented player her sister was," Waters said. "It's one of those things that if you know it's coming her way you know she's going to stop it if she can put a glove on it."
Newton had a chance to put at least one run on the board in the fourth inning. But Stevie Hodges' line drive into right field hit the runner for the third out as Sheppard was rounding third.
Greenbrier scored three runs on a Casey Rowland double in the eighth inning.
Newton made it 3-1 when Sheppard's triple plated Sami Becker in the bottom of the extra inning.
The Lady Rams had six hits against Greenbrier's Katie Tracy with Chaconna Marks going 2-for-4. Also hitting the ball were Kelsey Swinson, Usher and Hodges.
"The only problem we're having right now is that we're waiting too long to adjust to pitching. If they were hitting in the first three innings the way they decided to come around and hit in the later innings this thing would have never gone to extra innings," Waters said.