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Haynes pitches Starkville Academy softball team to tournament title

 

Danny P Smith

 

STARKVILLE -- Before wrapping her arm in ice after pitching four games on Saturday, Starkville Academy''s Lyndsey Haynes got to wrap her hands on a championship trophy. 

 

The Lady Volunteers remained in the winner''s bracket throughout and won the Starkville Invitational Tournament for the first time. The event was held at the Mississippi State Recreation Complex. 

 

Starkville Academy (8-1) defeated Winston Academy 6-3, Central Academy 8-7 and Pillow Academy 8-0 and 5-4 in eight innings to claim the title. 

 

"We haven''t won a tournament in four or five years and that was something we wanted to do before schools starts," Haynes said. 

 

Haynes was probably at her best when she was the most tired as she struck out nine Pillow batters in the championship game. 

 

Even when blisters on her hand made it painful at times, Haynes was able to get out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth inning to secure the victory for the Lady Volunteers. 

 

"I''m exhausted, but we''ve been doing so much running in the heat of the day," Haynes said. "We would run a mile on our day off and that has really prepared us. Last year, all I could pitch in a tournament was three games and I was done." 

 

Combined with regular season games Thursday and Friday, Haynes has been in the circle for six games in three days. 

 

Starkville Academy coach Randy Haynes, Lyndsey''s father, was a little concerned about her endurance entering the tournament, but they were able to discuss a strategy. 

 

"We wanted her to throw as many strikes as she could, not dance around the plate and let her defense work for her," Coach Haynes said. "We discussed this morning about saving her arm and throw as few pitches as she could. That''s what she did." 

 

Coach Haynes said staying in the winner''s bracket also helped in that regard and was happy to see his team respond. 

 

The Lady Volunteers scored the winning run when Kylie Lockhart, who started the inning on second base due to the international tiebreaker rule, went to third on a wild pitch and came home on an error. 

 

Bailey Wofford led Starkville Academy at the plate with a double and a single, while Lockhart added two singles. 

 

n Starkville Academy 8, Pillow Academy 0: The last time the Lady Volunteers had beaten Pillow was in the same tournament two years ago and they were able to beat the Lady Mustangs twice already this season. 

 

Wofford had a single and triple for Starkville Academy, while Renee Tatum and Haynes added two singles each and Sarah Lewis chipped in a double. 

 

n Starkville Academy 8, Central Academy 7: Central Academy jumped out to a 7-0 lead, but the Lady Volunteers rallied with four runs in the third and four more in the fourth innings. 

 

Mary Austin Barber had three singles and four runs batted in for Starkville Academy, while Tatum added two singles. 

 

For the Lady Vikings, Blake Rigdon, Alex Dawkins, Lillian Lindsey and Marion Colvin had two singles each. 

 

n Starkville Academy 6, Winston Academy 3: The Lady Volunteers started off the day well with a win against a rival. 

 

Wofford had another single and triple, while Tatum and Megan Aucoin contributed two singles. 

 

Haynes had six strikeouts in the circle and only gave up three hits to the Lady Patriots, two singles by Sarah Wray and one single by Mia Arneault. 

 

n Pillow Academy 5, Central Academy 3: The Lady Vikings couldn''t work all of the way through the loser''s bracket to earn a rematch with Starkville Academy. 

 

"We got in the loser''s bracket pretty early and got a little tired," Central Academy coach Pres Dawkins said. "We started making a lot of errors, but the girls played hard and came back to win a couple of games. I''m proud of them after a long day." 

 

The only hits the Lady Vikings could get against Pillow pitcher Katy Coleman were a double by Kendall Taylor and one single each by Julianna Persons and Kellie Hailey. 

 

n Central Academy 4, Oak Hill 3: The Lady Vikings rallied from a 3-0 deficit to remain alive in the winners''s bracket. 

 

Central Academy, which scored all of its run in the fourth inning, had one extra base hit with Persons'' double. 

 

Maegen Ellis had a double for Oak Hill. 

 

n Central Academy 8, Russell Academy 7: The Lady Vikings scored three runs in the fifth inning for another comeback victory. 

 

Taylor was a home run short of hitting for the cycle as she had the triple, single and double, while Corey Dawkins added two singles and Colvin had a double. 

 

n Central Academy 18, Winston Academy 9: The Lady Vikings earned a trip to the semifinals with a 12-run fifth inning. 

 

Of the 10 hits for Central Academy, Alex Dawkins had a single and triple, Rigdon added two singles, and Taylor and Colvin chipped in one triple each. 

 

Winston Academy was led at the plate by Jessica Webb and Courtney Morgan with two singles each. 

 

n Winston Academy 3, Oak Hill 0: The Lady Patriots were only able to get three hits, but it was enough to win their first game of the day. 

 

Arneault had a double for Winston''s only extra base hit. 

 

n Winston Academy 3, Kemper Academy 1: Arneault and Webb had one single each for the Lady Patriots. 

 

 

 

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