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Belles pull away to win in opener

Halifax American banged out a total of 13 hits, seven for extra bases, and three pitchers held Tennessee to four hits in a 14-4 win in American’s World Series opener in South Hill on Saturday. American played Florida yesterday, and with a win played the winner of the Georgia-North Carolina game, but first they had to contend both with Tennessee and sweltering conditions at game time.

Tennessee held a 1-0 lead after one inning on a leadoff triple and bases loaded walk, but American used a four-run second inning to take the lead for good, starting when Peyton Myers reached base on an error and scored on Puckett’s double.

Emily Nester walked and scored on Kye-Neisha Logan’s double, and Courtney Epps drew a walk, with both scoring on Lauren Womack’s hit and resulting Tennessee error.

A Meg Bane double and Taylor Barnes triple made it 5-1 in favor of American in the top of the third, but Tennessee added a run in the third to make it 5-2.

Three runs in the top of the fifth added to American’s advantage, beginning when Epps singled and Womack reached on an error.  A sacrifice by Tara Brandon moved the runners before a Tayler Mosley RBI hit and two-run hit by Bane made it 8-2.
Puckett doubled, Nester walked, and Puckett moved to third before scoring on a double steal in the sixth inning for American, and Tennessee added two runs on two hits, a walk and an American miscue to make it 9-4 with an inning remaining.

Five runs on three hits, two walks and Tennessee errors gave American its final runs in the top of the seventh.  Epps and Myers hit doubles, and Mosley and Beth Thomas hit singles in the rally that plated the final runs of the game.

Barnes pitched two innings, Epps three innings and Bane two for Halifax American, the trio combining for eight strikeouts while giving up a total of four hits.