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Newton earns big senior night win

COVINGTON - Nine runs in the first inning followed by six runs in the third inning gave the Lady Rams a 15-0 mercy-rule win over Berkmar on senior night Tuesday at Turner Lake Complex.

"I tried to schedule somebody I knew we could beat on senior night. You don't want to play somebody when there's a chance they could beat you," Newton coach Virginia Waters said.

"This is more of a fellowship game where we come out here and bond as a team to appreciate the seniors. This was just a day that the girls were able to enjoy."

The Lady Rams scored early, and often, in the home half of the first inning with Kelsey Swinson and Markea Sheppard crossing the plate on a senior Chaconna Marks single and a Zhandria Usher ground out.

Stevie Hodges plated fellow senior Chermisha Roberts to make it 3-0 with a double before Sheppard cleared the fence to for a two-run homer that made it 9-0.

"I knew it was a home run," she said. "I saw the height of it and I could tell it was over."

Defensively, pitcher Shea McInerny kept the Lady Patriots off balance fanning six of the 13 batters she faced.

McInerny got the win, giving up two hits and two walks.

After a scoreless second inning, the Lady Rams sent 11 batters to the plate in the third.

Sheppard made it 10-0 with a double to plate Swinson before she and Marks scored on the same play as a result of a wild pitch.

Swinson paced the Newton bench, going 3-for-3 followed with two hits by Sheppard and Marks.

With the score at 14-0, Sheppard had bases loaded before senior Sami Becker scored the game-ending run off a wild pitch, the seventh of the game for the Berkmar pitcher.

"I kind of was hoping to finish the game with a (grand slam)," Sheppard said. "It feels good (to win and hit) because I feel like we could go all the way this year."

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