Shutout clinches Lassiter berth in state finals
by Greg Oshust
October 22, 2010 12:00 AM | 1512 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Lassiter’s Erin Leonard gets an even swing at the pitch in Thursday’s second-round series finale against Parkview. 
<Br>Staff photo by Anthony Stalcup
Lassiter’s Erin Leonard gets an even swing at the pitch in Thursday’s second-round series finale against Parkview.
Staff photo by Anthony Stalcup
MARIETTA - Lassiter earned its first trip to the Class AAAAA state finals in three years as the Lady Trojans shut out Parkview 3-0 in the third and deciding game of their second-round state playoff series Thursday.

A two-run home run by Jordan Adams in the top of the third inning and, along with a four-hit shutout by Lassiter ace Mackenzie Kayler, was enough to send the Lady Trojans back to Columbus for the first time since it won the state title in 2007.

"It means you're playing when everybody else is at home, except for eight teams, and that's what you kind of play for," Lassiter coach Scott Kelly said. "We beat a good team and we're excited about that."

Lassiter (23-13) will open play in Columbus on Thursday, facing Region 2AAAAA champion East Coweta.

All three games of Lassiter's series with Parkview were won by shutout, with the Lady Trojans winning the first game 10-0 and losing the second 6-0.

Lassiter was determined to win one for injured senior shortstop Morgan Fite, who suffered what Kelly said may have been a broken shin in Wednesday's opening game. Fite is questionable to play in the state finals.

"You knew they were going to compete," Kelly said. "(Fite) got hurt (on Wednesday), and she couldn't play, and our girls did a great job of rallying around her and picking her up at getting to where she gets a chance to play another day. So, hopefully she gets better and gets a chance to play.

"But our girls did a great job of competing and just playing until the final out, because we know Parkview was going to do the same."

Kayler did her part in the circle, shutting down Parkview's bats and giving up only four hits in the process. She also pitched in both of Wednesday's games, throwing a two-hit shutout in the first game, but struggling in Game 2 with five earned runs and 10 hits allowed.

"She's pitched good all year. I mean, she's our No. 1 (pitcher) for a reason," Kelly said. "She came in and did a great job and she battled. (Parkview's) a good-hitting team, as they showed last night when they pulled six runs on us on 11 hits, and she came back and pitched well for us."

Errors also helped do in Parkview as the Lady Panthers committed five miscues, including three in the seventh that led to Lassiter's third and final run.

Amanda Chambers went the distance in the circle for Parkview, which ended its season at 21-12.

After a scoreless first couple of innings, Lassiter made its move in the top of the third when Rachel Orlandella hit a one-out single. Adams followed that up with a deep blast over the center-field fence to put the Lady Trojans up 2-0.

Parkview gave Lassiter a boost at the beginning of the top of the seventh inning when Adams got on first on an error at third base to lead off the inning.

Parkview committed another error when the second baseman dropped the ball as she tried to force Adams out at second. Kelsea Ogletree then reached first to put runners on first and second for Lassiter.

After Kayler grounded out for the first out of the inning, Veronica Ulincy drove in Adams when she reached first on yet another Parkview error, this time by the shortstop, to give Lassiter its final margin of victory and a trip to the elite eight.
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