Recording perfect 10: Eupora wraps up sweep of division by beating Bruce

Delta Claire Newman prepares to release a pitch for Eupora on Wednesday.
Staff Writer

It's not easy to go 10-0 in a division.

When a strong senior class is in the mix like the Eupora Lady Eagles have in softball, an undefeated mark should not be a surprise.

Eupora softball coach Amir Hunt said the veteran leadership of seniors Christiana Boren, Savannah Kilpatrick, Delta Claire Newman and Annslie Steadman have been key for this year's Class 2A, Region 2 championship run.
The Lady Eagles completed the division sweep with Wednesday afternoon's 10-0 win over Bruce in five innings.

The attitude that the Eupora seniors used throughout the season have impressed Hunt.

During Tuesday night's game at Noxapater, Hunt made the decision to pull some of his Lady Eagles out of the game, including seniors, and there was no negative reaction.

"It was 'yes sir, coach,' and didn't mind and got in the dugout," Hunt said. "A couple of them went straight to the bucket and started keeping charts.

"When you have girls that don't mind and just love being out here, the wins take care of themselves. We are 10-0 in the division and we haven't had a single problem. We haven't had any problem this year and I'm proud of the girls. They are a bunch of leaders. They work hard. They listen to their coach. They may not understand everything I say or understand why, but they say, 'yes sir.'"

The seniors were right in the middle of the success for Eupora against Bruce since it was their day.

Newman was solid in the circle once again. She did not allow a hit in her five innings of action.

"We just came out, did our job and tried to be undefeated in the district," Newman said. "We just did the best we could. I know (teammates) are going to back me up no matter what. I just do what I usually do and they back me up when I need them."

Newman also drove in two runs with a double in a seven-run second inning that got the Lady Eagles going. Steadman drove in the first run of the frame with an RBI single.

It was the first of two singles of the game for Steadman.

"I wanted to come out and do what was best for my team," Steadman said. "We've had a great season and won the district. We've really been playing as a team and these girls play for everybody. I just wanted to do what was best for them."

Boren and Kilpatrick also reached and scored in the second. Kilpatrick had a triple in the first inning.

Before Kilpatrick moves on the next level next year, she wants to do everything she can to help Eupora win games in the postseason.

"It's definitely sad leaving your hometown, but also excited because I get to start a new career," Kilpatrick said. "It's also exciting that we are undefeated in our division. I'm excited to see where we go."

After the seven-run second, the Lady Eagles scored three more times in the third inning and the game reached the mercy rule in the fifth when Newman kept the Lady Trojans from scoring.

Underclassmen also got in on the fun as Alley Reed singled twice and scored twice, while Haley Farley had a two-run double, a single and scored twice, Kylie Richardson had two singles with one driving in a run and Haylee McCrory chipped in a single.

It pleased seniors like Boren to see everyone on the team produce.

"I'm really proud of my team and my coaches," Boren said. "i'm proud of how they play every game and how they played in this game. I love them all and I'm ready to see where it takes us."

As a new coach for the Eupora program, Hunt has been pleased with how he's been received by the players.

He realizes change can be difficult, but the Lady Eagles, especially the seniors, adapted well in his mind.

"(The seniors have) been under someone else for five years, then a new coach comes in and there was change, but they picked it up," Hunt said. "They were willing to listen and willing to buy in. When you have girls do that and lead by example, they are just a bunch of team players."

Eupora stands 19-1 overall and received a bye in the first round of the Class 2A playoffs.