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Liberty wins on Bradwell’s senior day

POSTED: September 25, 2013 10:11 a.m.
John Wood/

Bradwell seniors Chelsi Shutts, Jessica Puckett, Heather Rego and Kasey Smith release their tiger-striped balloons Saturday during their senior day ceremony at BI.

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Liberty County High School and Bradwell Institute both had something to celebrate Saturday morning with their second head-to-head softball game of the season.
Liberty celebrated its second win over the Lady Tigers, shutting down the home team, 19-0, in four innings in the final home game for the Bradwell seniors.
The first time the teams faced each other, Liberty won, 10-1. The Lady Panthers broke a two-game losing streak Saturday.  After falling to South Effingham, 8-0, and Wayne County, 10-3, last week, Liberty started to find its hitting groove. Just two days after producing only three hits against Wayne County, Liberty girls did a complete 180 facing the Lady Tiger pitchers.
“Our players improved at the plate,” Lady Panther coach Jerome Standard said. “We hit strikes for the most part and at times hit it very well.”
Standing out for the Liberty girls was freshman Kaleigh Fisher, who went 3 of 4 with two doubles, one triple, six RBIs and two runs. Sophomore Kathryn Carter was 2 of 3 with one RBI and two runs. Victoria Anthony, Rachel Smith, Haley Spencer, Taensa Rariden and Riley Davis each had one hit and one RBI.
After the game, the Lady Panthers had six batters that each had a batting average of .500 or better.
Fisher also pitched all four innings, allowing only two hits and striking out six batters.
The two teams shook hands and shared hugs as the Liberty girls helped the Lady Tigers celebrate senior day. The Lady Tigers honored seniors Jessica Puckett, Heather Rego, Kasey Smith and Chelsi Shutts. Each of them received a yellow rose for each year they played and a jar of field dirt with notes and inspirational quotes from their team mates. “Kasey has really stepped up as a leader for us this year,” Lady Tiger softball coach Sharyl Eastlake said. “She has been solid at the plate and in the field but her leadership, positive example and role model for the younger players has been amazing. She is like having an assistant coach on the field. When we are practicing before one of us has to correct a player, she has already stepped up and showed them what to do. Kasey will show younger players where to stand in the field, how to take the correct steps to go get a fly ball or how to hit the ball. She is always talking to the younger players.”
Eastlake arranged for former teammate Melissa Coonrod to talk them from Missouri. Shutt’s father, Sgt. Chris Shutts, experienced senior day via Skype since he is deployed in Afghanistan.
Smith and Puckett led the Lady Tigers at the plate. Smith was 2 for 3 with a pair of singles, and Puckett added a single.
The Lady Tigers are 5-14 overall after losing to Long County, 13-0, Monday afternoon at home. Bradwell is 3-6 in Region 3B-AAAAA heading into the region playoff, which starts Oct. 3. Eastlake said their first region opponent is being determined.
Liberty was scheduled to host Statesboro on Tuesday. Game results were not available at press time. The Lady Panthers host South Effingham at 6 p.m. Thursday and will honor their seniors at the event.

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