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By JOEL COLEMAN
The Starkville High softball team couldn't get its offense going in a 7-0 home loss to Columbus Thursday night.
Lady Falcons pitchers Whitney Kyles and Porsha Brooks combined to hold down the Lady Jackets all night long as Columbus earned its first division win of the season, improving to 3-8 overall and 1-1 in Class 6A, Region 2.
Starkville fell to 5-9 overall and 1-3 in Class 6A, Region 2.
"We just didn't hit," said SHS head coach Mimi Milling. "It's disappointing. The girls want it, but we just couldn't pull it together tonight."
Starkville pitcher Jadee Sexton went the distance for the Lady Jackets, suffering the loss thanks in large part to the struggling SHS bats.
Starkville's best chance to score came in the middle innings.
After the Lady Falcons plated two runs in the first, one in the second and three in the fifth to take a 6-0 lead, the Lady Jackets loaded the bases with just one out in their half of the sixth.
That's when Columbus head coach Rusty Greene relieved Kyles with Brooks, who would deny Starkville's threat by inducing a pop out from Shareda Brown before ending the inning with a strikeout of D'Kyra Robinson.
Columbus capped the night's scoring with a single run in the seventh, cementing a win that left Greene praising the work of his team.
"We've got a lot of athletes," said Greene. "My assistant coach couldn't make it tonight, so instead of putting somebody (as first base coach), I told the girls to bunt when they wanted to bunt and steal when they wanted to steal. I told them to just play ball. For the most part, we bunted well, we put the ball in play, and pitching, that's the name of the game.
"We threw strikes, (Starkville) beat it right to us and we made every play they hit to us."
After suffering the defeat, Starkville will attempt to rebound today with a 6 p.m. varsity division game at South Panola.
The Lady Jackets' junior varsity squad will face the Lady Tigers at 5 p.m.