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Quick starts lead to two victories for Lady Tigers

By By BRUCE HIXON Sports Editor
Want to make a pitcher's job easier? Try giving him or her an 8-0 lead in the first inning like the T.R. Miller Lady Tigers gave hurler Leigh Cooper in Tuesday's 15-0 four-inning home win over visiting Escambia County.
As nice as that was for Cooper, mound teammate Halie Ellis got an even better present the day before when the Lady Tigers erupted for nine first inning runs in a 12-1, five-inning triumph at Monroe County.
Tuesday's win over Escambia County avenged a 9-8 extra inning loss to the Lady Blue Devils earlier in the season.
T.R. Miller (11-7) took advantage of the absence of usual Escambia County pitcher Morgan Marsh, whose services were unavailable.
With Marsh out, the Lady Tigers took advantage of control problems by backup pitchers, who issued five walks and hit three batters in the first inning alone.
T.R. Miller only had three hits in that opening frame. The biggest blow was a three-run double by Erin Byrne. Cooper had another key blow with a two-run double, while Emily Layton had a single in that inning.
The second inning was more of the same when the Lady Tigers scored four more runs on just one hit, Emily Layton's leadoff single, to make it 12-0. The frame also included four more walks and three run-scoring wild pitches.
T.R. Miller finished the game off on the 15-run rule in the fourth inning on Leigh Cooper's RBI single and Taelor Robinson's two-run double.
That was more than enough for Cooper on the mound, who tossed a three-hit shutout although she had to strand six Escambia County runners in four innings.
In Monday's win at Monroe County, the Lady Tigers sent 14 batters to the plate in their nine-run first inning.
Unlike Tuesday's win against Escambia County where the Lady Tigers were beneficiaries of control problems by the opposing hurler on the mound, they did most of their damage with swings of the bat.
Haley Rilling and Ellis both had singles in that frame, while Cooper, Leslie Nalty and Robinson all had doubles.
T.R. Miller later added a run in the third and two more in the fifth that kicked the 10-run rule into play.
Ellis, who along with Rilling and Nalty both had two hits, tossed a two-hitter and struck out nine.
T.R. Miller's next action is Monday when it travels to Straughn. The Lady Tigers are also on the road Tuesday with a trip to J.U. Blacksher.
Monday's game
T.R. Miller 901 02 – 12 10 1
Monroe County 100 00 – 1 2 1
Tuesday's game
Escambia County 000 0 – 0 3 4
T.R. Miller 840 3 – 15 8 5