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Freshman leads Mansfield to state title game

Edwards heroics in the circle and at the plate have Lady Tigers set to make history

MANSFIELD, Ark. — Mansfield softball will play in their first state title game since 2012 on Thursday. But the road was anything but smooth.  In the state quarterfinals, they were down one, down to their last two outs, with freshmen Alyson Edwards at the plate.

“I got up top the plate and was like, I’ll just swing hard, and if it goes anywhere, it goes anywhere.”

Senior Hailey Walker had all the confidence in the world.

“We know she’s gonna do something big. We all know it, no doubt in my mind, ever.”

“She threw me an outside pitch and I swung, and it just kept going and I was like, oh my gosh, we just won.”

The freshman was also responsible for all three-state playoff wins in the circle for the Lady Tigers, striking out 25 batters across three games.

“She’s playing beyond her years, she don’t play like a freshman any longer, when she’s in the circle it’s all business,” says head coach Donnie Eveld. Chloe Creekmore, who catches Edwards, agrees.

“I know, no matter what the spot is, no matter what the pitch is, it’s gonna be there and it’s gonna be perfect.”

 Fittingly, it was an Edwards strikeout that sent Mansfield to the state finals.

“It was great to be around the girls, and getting the last out was surreal.”

“Pure excitement of we finally made it, says the senior Creekmore. “Kind of like a relief, and more of it’s finally here, it’s my last year and we get to go to the state finals.”

Mansfield will take on Tuckerman for the 2a state title, Thursday at 10am in Benton.

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