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Lady Rams get Senior Night shutout

COVINGTON -- Scoring eight runs in the bottom of the first inning helped the Lady Rams calm down on their way to a five-inning, 10-0 win over Spalding for Senior Night on Thursday.

The Lady Rams not only hit the ball when they needed, collecting seven hits, they were also patient at the plate with three walks. Defensively, Newton's defense was able to snag line drives and throw the ball to the right base when Spalding runners made mistakes.

In the second inning with a runner on first, Newton's Bri Weaver was able to get the runner out at second base from right field. Then in the third, seniors Zhan Usher and Kelsey Swinson connected to get a runner out at second base trying to steal. The final out of the inning came when senior Makala Williams threw the runner out at second base after the throw missed its mark at first base.

In their first meeting at the beginning of the season, Newton was able to outlast Spalding 11-8 in a slugfest.

"I'm not sure what happened between now and then, I don't know if we hit the ball and played better defense or if they weren't on their game. We went to them and it was pretty much a hitting contest," Newton head coach Virginia Waters said. "Some of these girls you could tell hit the ball hard, we just played good defense being at the right place at the right time. Regardless, it's a win on Senior Night and that's what's more important. Especially to the girls graduating."

Newton came out strong to start the game with Usher hitting a base-clearing triple to make it 3-0 with no outs. Senior Keyanna Notae scored for the second time in the first inning to give the Lady Rams an 8-0 lead.

"It was definitely a boost from the get go. It was kind of surprising because (starting pitcher) threw harder than the one that came in relief. She started for them last game. We were excited because we hit her as well as we did," Waters said.

Newton pitcher Letice Albert had two hits to pace the girls with Marie Diaz, DeAunna Jackson, Precious Price, Williams and Usher getting the other hits. Albert got the win with two strikeouts while giving up one walk and four hits.

"This was one of the faster pitchers we've seen in the past few weeks so it definitely helps us speed-wise picking up on the ball," Waters said. "I don't know how well it's going to prepare them for East Coweta and Newnan, who throw the ball like they're already in college, but that's all we have to work with."