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Smith’s home run lifts Lady Eagles over Rusk, into region final

By Jay Neal, for the Messenger | Published Saturday, May 19, 2018.
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Jordyn Smith’s first home run of the season was one to remember.

With Decatur trailing by a run in what had already been a tightly-contested series, Aliyah Smith led off the fifth with a base hit up the middle.

Then, with one out, Smith launched a rocket that blasted the Lady Eagles one step closer to the state tournament.

The Decatur sophomore lofted a pitch over the wall in right-center to propel the Lady Eagles to a 3-2 victory over Rusk in Game 2 of the 4A Region II semifinal Friday at Rockwall. Decatur (25-4) swept the series 2-0 and advanced to the region final with the win.

The Decatur softball team poses for a photo after their 3-2 victory over Rusk in Game 2 of the 4A Region II semifinal.

They will take on Emory Rains next week for the right to go to state.

“”I am not a home run hitter,” Smith said. “I knew we had someone on base and we were down by a run, so I wanted to do whatever I could to not let the team down.

“I got a pitch right down the middle, a little bit outside, and I was able to get all of it.”

Smith went a perfect 2-for-2 in the game. Reagan Chism, Tristyn Trull and Brison Hesteande also tallied base hits for Decatur.

Chism pitched a complete and was the winning pitcher of record for the Lady Eagles. She allowed one earned run on three hits and struck out nine Rusk batters.

Decatur got on the board in the third frame when Hesteande laced a base hit into center that scored Smith from third base. That put the Lady Eagles up 1-0.

Rusk, who swept top-ranked Paris North Lamar last week, plated runs in the top of the fourth and fifth innings to move ahead 2-1.

Decatur coach Carly Cloud said even though her team trailed late in the contest, she knew the game was far from over.

“This team never gives up, they fight until the end in every game,” she said. “They didn’t get down and they continued to believe that they could win the game.”

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