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Lady Devils declaw Miller

By By Matthew Nascone
After not beating the T.R. Miller Lady Tigers on the softball diamond for many years, the Escambia County Lady Blue Devils softball team won their second game in three tries against Miller March 18 in Brewton, 5-2.
This is the second straight year the Lady Devils (5-3) have won the first game of the season series. The Lady Devils broke the curse of the Tiger at home last year, but lost in the second matchup in Brewton.
"Anytime you play people in the county, especially T.R. Miller, you want to play well," ECHS head coach William Casaday said. "Wins in rivalry games are always special."
Junior Raven Culliver (3-3) picked up the win for the Lady Blue Devils on the mound, allowing two runs, one earned, on five hits, striking out three batters and walking none.
She was also 1-for-3 at the plate with two runs scored and one RBI.
The Lady Devils jumped out to an early 3-0 lead following two runs in the first inning and one in the second. ECHS added two runs in the fifth inning and Miller scored both of their runs in the bottom of the seventh inning.
"The key to this game was that we got on the board early and grabbed the momentum," Casaday said. "Raven pitched a good game and she was hitting her spots all night."
Junior center fielder Courtney English was 3-for-4 at the plate with a triple and three RBIs. Junior shortstop Latesha Lee was also 3-for-4 and added one run scored and one RBI.
Sophomores Michaela Norman and Minikia Smith each went 1-for-3. Norman scored two runs and Smith had one run scored.
Thomasville 6 Lady Blue Devils 0
The Lady Devils were stunned on the road in an area game against Thomasville, 6-0, to even their area record at 1-1.
"I was impressed with how our girls played on defense, but we just couldn't hit the ball," Casaday said. "Thomasville is a quality team and we are just not quite at their level yet, but we will get there."
Culliver took the loss on the mound, allowing six runs, five earned, on eight hits, striking out seven and walking none.
Culliver and the Lady Devils hung with Thomasville through three innings, but the Lady Tigers opened the floodgates in the fourth inning with four runs scored. They added two in the fifth and one in the sixth.
ECHS managed only four hits from two players. Culliver and Lee were both 2-for-3 at the plate.
Up next for ECHS is an away game against area rival Jackson High School March 31. First pitch is set for 4:30 p.m.