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Newman sisters shine, Daviess County advances to 3rd Region Semifinals

May 29, 2022 | 12:05 am

Updated May 28, 2022 | 11:57 pm

Photo by Gage Johnson

Hattie and Annie Newman led the way at the plate for the Lady Panthers, combining for six RBIs to help them advance to the second round of the 3rd Region Tournament with a 9-0 shutout victory.

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After a quick first inning, Daviess County took advantage of an early defensive miscue by the Lady Waves. Junior Kayley Payne found herself on second after the error, later moving to third after a sac bunt from senior Seanna Leibfried.

Eighth grader Annie Newman grounded out the following at-bat to drive the run in, but it was her sister junior Hattie Newman that opened things up with a three-run home run to right following a walk and single to take a 4-0 lead. 

The Lady Panthers added one more in the bottom of the third after a leadoff double from junior Jessie Daniels, as she scored from second on a sac fly by senior Katie Mewes because of the center fielder diving to make the catch. Meanwhile, Roby was her usual self in the circle, keeping Meade County scoreless and striking out five through three.

This allowed Daviess County to add on to its offensive momentum in the bottom of the fourth, quickly loading the bases with a pair of walks and a single from senior Millie Roberts. Mewes grounded out to short, leaving everyone else safe and making it a 6-0 game before another walk loaded the bases with two outs.

Leibfried walked the following at-bat to plate a run, before a bloop single to center from Annie Newman drove in two and gave the Lady Panthers a 9-0 lead. This was more than enough run support for Roby, as she closed out the final three innings to finish the shutout having allowed three hits and striking out eight to send Daviess County into the 3rd Region Semifinals.

“I thought Raylee settled in [well],” Biggs said. “She maybe wasn’t throwing as hard that first inning, but I thought that she settled in and we made some adjustments on what we were trying to do and trying to be real efficient. I thought she did a nice job.”

Offensively, Mewes had two RBIs and Leibfried had one on the day, but it was the sister duo of Hattie and Annie Newman that led the way with three RBIs each. Hattie has had another strong season in her senior year, while Annie has been a proven contributor right away as an eighth grader.

Annie took over the shortstop position after their older Abby Newman graduated, who has most recently helped Western Kentucky reach the Conference USA Championship in her freshman season. The transition has been seemingly smooth for the Lady Panthers and Hattie said that it’s because the two are rather similar.

“I see Abby a lot in her,” Hattie Newman said. “They’re kind of the same. They both know how to get on base, get base hits and can also hit a home run if needed. She’s pretty good.”

Hattie and Annie have been crucial to Daviess County’s offensive success late in the season, trading games full of RBIs and home runs. The left side of the infield for the Lady Panthers said that it’s definitely something that they pay attention to, as they’re competitive and always trying to push each other.

“Yeah, but we don’t talk about it because it starts a fight,” Hattie Newman said. “We’re always competing… We’ve always been helping each other out I guess since we were little, but it’s easier that we live together. We just go hit whenever we want or go to the field.”

The Lady Panthers now have a quick turnaround, as they will be dealing with a tough opponent in Butler County at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday. Knowing that they came so close to a state championship last season, the Newman sisters and company believe that they have what it takes to make that happen in 2022—but they have to take care of business in the 3rd Region first.

“I think we know what we want,” Hattie Newman said. “We’ve been grinding at practice, keeping a routine. We’ve been here before, so we’re kind of ready. We know what to expect.”

May 29, 2022 | 12:05 am

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