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Class 4A Reg. QF: Playoff veterans Rusk, North Lamar to do battle again

Jacksonville Daily Progress - 5/10/2018

May 10--LINDALE -- For the second-consecutive year softball teams from Rusk and Paris North Lamar will face off in the Class 4A, Region II quarterfinal round of the state playoffs.

First pitch in Game 1 is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday. Game 2 will start at noon Saturday

Last spring Rusk notched a 2-0 victory over the Pantherettes, and one can take it to the bank that the girls from North Lamar have that game etched into their collective memories.

The Lady Eagles (21-9-2) blasted Van, 2-0, in a best-of-3 series last weekend, winning by scores of 16-5, 6-5 to advance to take on the Pantherettes (27-2).

North Lamar, who moved up to No. 1 in the state in this week's Class 4A poll, sailed past Henderson in the area round, winning 11-0 in a single gamer.

Rusk beat Gilmer, 2-0, in its bi-district series, while North Lamar thumped Brownsboro, 11-1, 8-2 in opening round action.

The Lady Eagles are outscoring their opponents 10 to 3.6 in the playoffs, with the Pantherettes averaging 10 runs a game in post season play, while giving up an average of just one run an outing.

Speaking briefly at the Rusk Sports Awards banquet on Monday, Lady Eagle head softball coach Tye Wilkerson said that his team "is hitting the cover off of the ball now" and that the Rusk girls are eager to get the series going.

Both clubs are post season veterans, with Rusk having qualified for the playoffs for the past eight-consecutive years and North Lamar having punched its ticket for the past 12 years.

The Lady Eagles are 27-24 all-time in post season play while the Pantherettes are 30-15 in the playoffs.

The series winner between Rusk and North Lamar will move on to face either Bonham or Decatur in the regional semi-finals late next week.

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(c)2018 the Jacksonville Daily Progress (Jacksonville, Texas)

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