By Chuck Licata
Pitching? No problem here: Obviously, freshman Sam Junkinâs five-hit shutout in Game 2âs 4-0 victory was a highlight for the LHHS staff, as she followed up Kourtney Beverâs 140-pitch, 2-1, eight-inning victory from Friday with an outstanding performance in the series clincher.
Junkin, who owns three of Liberty Hillâs four postseason victories, has established herself as a go-to pitcher in clutch situations.
Not bad for a freshman.
Of Weems, Browder and Laffs: The trio of senior Bailey Browder and juniors Courtney Weems and Paige Lafferty continues to excel for the Lady Panthers.
âLaffs,â as sheâs called on the K-MAC Sports Panthers Prime Time broadcasts on www.kmacsports.com, ripped three hits in the all-important Game 2, including a two-out single that kept Liberty Hillâs four-run seventh inning alive (she eventually scored on a two-run single by Kallen Floyd).
Weems started that four-run rally by âtaking one for the team,â as she was hit by a Lauren Dannelly pitch with one out in the seventh. Weems, who would score one pitch later on a three-base error, was Liberty Hillâs âHit Womanâ as she was hit by a pitch in Fridayâs Game 1.
Browder was the player who bunted the ball with Weems at first base that Sweeny threw away for a three-base error. It was the second time in the series she reached base on an error; she also slahsed a double in Game 1.
All three were solid in the field as well throughout the series.
Birthday girl: LHHS freshman catcher Payton Walker celebrated her 15th birthday Saturday â needless to say, the teamâs Game 2 victory (and advancement to the Region IV finals) made for quite a birthday present.
Walker, sister to junior teammate Presley Walker and daughter of Kat and Billy Walker (known as âThe Professorâ on the K-MAC Sports broadcasts), even got in Game 2 as a courtesy runner for catcher Kyli Herman, who singled with two outs in the four-run seventh. Walker would come around to score on Floydâs two-run single that capped the four-run outburst.