Region title provides Kennesaw Mountain coach with milestone
by Carlton D. White
cwhite@mdjonline.com
October 03, 2012 01:09 AM | 2869 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
South Cobb’s Ariell Lebouf stretches in vain for the ball as Kennesaw Mountain’s Malea Bell reaches first in the opening game of Tuesday’s Region 4AAAAAA championship doubleheader. The Lady Mustangs proved too tough for the upstart Lady Eagles and swept to the region title.
<BR>Staff photo by Emily Barnes
South Cobb’s Ariell Lebouf stretches in vain for the ball as Kennesaw Mountain’s Malea Bell reaches first in the opening game of Tuesday’s Region 4AAAAAA championship doubleheader. The Lady Mustangs proved too tough for the upstart Lady Eagles and swept to the region title.
Staff photo by Emily Barnes
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KENNESAW — Kennesaw Mountain celebrated two milestones Tuesday in its Region 4AAAAAA championship series against South Cobb.

The first was Lisa Chapman’s 300th victory as coach in the Lady Mustangs’ 4-0 Game 1 win. The second was an 8-0 five-inning in the nightcap, clinching the 13-year-old program its second region championship.

Bekah Farris held South Cobb (19-8) to three hits and struck out seven in the first game. The top-ranked Lady Mustangs (25-3-2) recorded eight hits and slowly pulled away from South Cobb with one run in the third inning, two in the fourth and one more in the fifth.

Game 2 saw Kennesaw Mountain jump out to a 7-0 lead after two innings. The Lady Mustangs totaled four hits and scored four runs in the first inning, before Chandler Stooksbury’s two-out, three-run home run in the second put the game out of reach.

The region title was the first for Kennesaw Mountain since it claimed its first crown in 2007. The Lady Mustangs were one out away from another in 2010, but they lost the series’ second game, and eventually the series, to Harrison.

Farris, a senior, was quick to point out the 2010 setback, and she was happy to finally get the title back to Kennesaw Mountain.

“We’re elated to get this championship,” Farris said. “We’ve been waiting two years for this. We have a lot of seniors on this team that remember 2010, so this was like a big revival for us after that loss. It was on our fingertips then, and now it’s in our hands.”

As the Region 4AAAAAA champion, the Kennesaw Mountain will host the No. 4 seed from Region 1AAAAAA in a first-round state series next week. Momentum is on the Lady Mustangs’ side going into that matchup, with the team recording shutouts in four of its last five games.

“We’re pumped about state,” Farris said. “We’re playing well right now and getting wins at the right time. That’s a big plus for us this late in the season.”

Stooksbury combined to finish with four RBIs and two runs scored in Tuesday’s doubleheader. She also had a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning of Game 2 that scored Becky Granneman and gave the Lady Mustangs an 8-0 advantage.

Malea Bell was 2-for-6 and scored three times, while Kimmie Strebe batted 3-for-5 with a RBI and a run scored.

Molly Uhrman went 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored, and Amanda Hallman contributed a double and scored a run in Game 2.

Morgan Howard and Kathryn Woody each had hits in Game 1. Madi Lewis scored in the fourth inning for a 2-0 Kennesaw Mountain margin.

Farris struck out four through the first two innings Game 2. She also batted 3-for-5 with three RBIs for the series.

Farris combined with Hallman and Woody on a one-hit shutout in the second game.

“It’s nice not to be runner-up,” Chapman said as he clutched the plaque recognizing her 300th win with the program she launched in 2000. “This is great for the girls, and especially the seniors, who have worked so hard the last four years. It was special. I had former players here to watch this, and it was a good night to pick up 300 wins and to win the region championship.

“I’ve been blessed. I’ve had great ball players, and we have a wonderful administration and great facilities with lots of community support from boosters to parents to volunteers to everybody. I have a great assistant coaching staff that’s been with me for the last four years. I’m just surrounded by great people that have helped build this program together. It’s about all of us, not just me.”

As first-time region runners-up, South Cobb will host a first-round state playoff series for the first time in its history. The Lady Eagles, who have won a team-record 19 games, will face the No. 3 seed from Region 1AAAAAA when the state playoffs begin.

Brittany Rhodes allowed four runs — one earned — on eight hits and struck out two in taking the Game 1 loss. Emily Cargle pitched Game 2.

Asia Moore had the lone South Cobb hit in Game 2. Terilyn Harris, Aliyah Lebouf and Keajuana Crymes had hits in Game 1.

“We knew coming in that this would be a tough game,” South Cobb coach Mark Collins said. “This is a game that should prepare us for the state tournament. (Kennesaw Mountain is) the No. 1 team in the state, and they have a great pitcher.

“We’re very happy with what we’ve accomplished, and now we have to prepare for next week. We haven’t done a lot of hosting, so we’ll see what we can do.”
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