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MA trounces Southern, 13-3

LINDEN – The Lady Longhorns (11-0) used an eight-run fourth inning to spark a 13-3 win over Southern Academy Tuesday.

Amber Walker started the scoring with a two-run shot down the left field line that squeaked inside the foul poll before caroming off head coach Todd Mathis’ truck, which was parked beyond the outfield fence.

“I told them they can hit my truck as long as its fair,” Mathis jokingly said to one of his assistants after the homerun.

Marengo added two more runs in the second when Kaliegh Robison had an RBI single to plate Destiny Huckabee before coming around to score on a Chelsea Etheridge single.

Southern battled back in the top of the third when Amber Miller reached on an error before scoring on a Taylor King double to cut the score to 4-1.

“Killed us,” Mathis said of the team’s penchant for committing errors in the game. “Way too many. You could tell we were not mentally prepared to play. We were probably looking ahead to Thursday.”

Marengo upped the lead again in the home half of the inning when Abbey Huckabee doubled to start the inning before coming into score when her sister, Destiny, blooped a bunt over the pitcher to pick up the RBI.

Southern countered again in the fourth when Lauren Miller drew a leadoff walk before swiping second and advancing to third on an error. Anna Glover then hit a groundball to pick up the RBI and cut the game to 5-2.

“I chewed them out,” Mathis said of the brief meeting he held with his team prior to its fourth inning at-bat. “They started being a little more selective and acted like they wanted to play.”

Eighth-grader Katie Tucker started the Lady Longhorn rally with a one-out pop up that landed just inside the right field foul line. Tucker then swiped second and advanced to third on a passed ball.

The first blow of the inning came when Abbey Huckabee doubled in Tucker and Etheridge.

Jessica Brock followed with an RBI single that plated Chandler Stenz. Anna Edmonds kept the rally going with an RBI single that scored Abbey. Shelby Mathis then dropped down a bunt to plate Brock before Tucker stepped to the plate again.

With the bases loaded, Tucker ripped a triple into the gap that plated Edmonds, Mathis and Destiny, capping the Marengo scoring.

“That kid can play,” Mathis said of Tucker. “She’s good enough to play. There’s no doubt about that. We’ll throw her in the fire and she’ll come through. It’s not a problem.”

Southern got its final run when Allison Woods drew a walk in the fifth inning before scoring on a Demi Davis single.

The MA head coach conceded after the game that a focused Lady Longhorn team is among the best in Alabama.

“There’s some good teams on the other side of the state,” Mathis said, “but if they get their heads right and show up ready to play ball, I wouldn’t trade them for anybody.”

The game marked the Lady Longhorns’ final contest before their much-anticipated rematch with Lowndes Academy, the team that defeated Marengo in the state championship round in 2008.

“They played the (Patrician) tournament (over the weekend). They weren’t looking ahead,” Mathis said. “But ever since that was over, that’s all they’ve been talking about. I’m hoping they’re not too keyed up.”

Marengo Academy hosts Lowndes Academy at Scott Park in Linden Thursday at 3:30 p.m.