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Durant proves title worthy

The Cougars defeat Plant 11-1 in the final of the tournament at JC Handly Park.

By JARRETT GUTHRIE
Published March 25, 2007


BRANDON - Durant's preparation this season has been the key. A simple focus for the team according to coach Matt Carter - hitting.

"These kids are working there butts off," Carter said. "They're working hard every day. We go out in practice and hit, hit, hit. We work on defense and then we might hit, hit, hit again."

The Cougars put on a hitting display in Saturday's final of the Jon Sinclair Memorial Spring Fling Tournament at JC Handly Park, using 17 hits to defeat Plant 11-1 and win the Cougars' third Spring Fling title.

"Everybody thought we were overrated," Durant's Brittany Crabb said. "This (tournament) was going to be our test supposedly and we prepared and did really well."

Durant (17-0) was again led on the mound by the tournament's most valuable player, Jessica Bevlin. She pitched a complete game allowing three hits and striking out six. The senior, who threw a no-hitter against Sickles on Friday night in the quarterfinals, credited her team's defense.

"I wasn't my best today, but my team was," Bevlin said. "They backed me up today and saved me a bunch of times."

Crabb led the Cougar batters, going 3-for-4 with a double and two runs scored.

"(Brittany's) a very strong lead-off batter," Carter said. "I call her a scatter hitter. She is not always hitting the ball to leftfield. Wherever the ball comes that is where she is going to hit it."

The Cougars took over early, scoring two runs in the first and following up in the second inning, adding five more. They scored one in the fifth and their final three runs in the seventh.

Kelsey Horton and Sarah Demuth had two RBIs and Mindy Corbett, Erika Wetherington and Kelly Jones added one RBI each.

Plant (15-3) scored in the fourth when Courtney Kreamer drove in Lizzy Misho.

"We made three or four mental errors (tonight)," Plant coach Melissa Sigmon said. "Throwing to the wrong bases, giving them extra bases, missing our cutoff man. You can't do that against a team like this. You can't give them extra outs. It's hard enough to beat them in 21 outs."

Bevlin said the Cougars are encouraged by the team's record but focused on finishing the season as strongly as they started it.

"We've really developed," Bevlin said. "In the past few seasons we haven't really finished ... but at the end of this season I think we are going to come together and finish strong."