Lady Titans snap skid with win in league opener

McDowell's Emma Banks takes a swing during a recent game. The Lady Titans won their Northwestern 3A/4A Conference opener against St. Stephens Tuesday. Josh Davis/

The McDowell Lady Titans snapped an early season, three-game losing streak on Tuesday afternoon, beating the Saint Stephens Lady Indians 6-1 in the Northwestern 3A/4A opener for both squads.

The victory also importantly gets McDowell (1-3 overall, 1-0 NWC) in the win column for the first time on the season.

Offensively the team belted out eight hits. The Lady Titans scored twice in the third inning and then added four more runs in the sixth, breaking open what was still a close contest in the late innings.

Sophomore Jada Cannon (2 for 3, RBI), Kirsten Melvin (2 for 3, 2RBIs) and Madison Wills (2 for 3, R, RBI) each had multi-hit outings. Emma Banks and Jessica Cannon added one hit each.

The offense was enough for Candace Cooper on the mound, as the senior tossed a complete game, allowing a seventh inning run on two hits. Cooper struck out four batters and walked none.

McDowell continued a busy slate of games at home on Wednesday against North Buncombe. Results were not available at press time. The Lady Titans finish the week hosting South Caldwell on Friday.

Smoky Mountain 6, McDowell 4 (Saturday)

McDowell played a pair of games at a neutral site, Crest High, Saturday and came up empty.

In the first game of the day, McDowell was held off by Smoky Mountain High School 6-4. Both squads were tied at four after three-and-a-half innings of play. Then the Mustangs pushed across single runs in the bottom half of the fourth and fifth innings and were able to hold off the Lady Titans from rallying late.

Sophomore Payton Koone took the loss on the mound, allowing all six runs on 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings, striking out four batters and walking three.

Offensively McDowell had seven hits off Smoky Mountain freshman Alannah Hopkins (6.2 IP, 4R, 6H, 8K) and nine total for the game.

Jaden Shuford went 2-for-3 including a home run, double and two RBIs. Laynie Hudgins also went 2-for-3, scoring once and driving in one run.

Jada Cannon (1 for 4), Kirsten Melvin (1 for 3, RBI), Jessica Cannon (1 for 3), Madison Wills (1 for 3) and Morgan Waycaster (1 for 3) all had one hit apiece for the Lady Titans.

Franklin 6, McDowell 1 (Saturday)

The Franklin Panthers jumped out to a quick lead in Saturday’s finale and defeated McDowell by a 6-2 margin.

The Panthers scored twice in the first inning, one in the second and three more in the third.

The lone McDowell run occurred in the bottom half of the second inning.

The Lady Titans had just four hits in total. Madison Wills (1 for 3, RBI), Jaden Shuford (1 for 3 R, RBI) had one hit each and Laynie Hudgins went 2-for-3 in the contest.



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