Lady Vikes win division championship

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 11, 2000

Heather Barnes of Warren Central slides into third with a second-inning triple ahead of the tag of Greenville’s Veronica Coffey. (The Vicksburg Post/PAT SHANNAHAN)

Several members of the Warren Central softball team streaked their hair red for good luck Tuesday.

They may be on to something.

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Having to beat Greenville (9-8, 0-4 division) by nine runs to win the division title, the Lady Vikes (20-11) rolled to a 12-2 mercy rule-shortened game.

Rebecca Chick, who pinch hit in the bottom of the sixth, reached on an error then scored on the fourth Honey Bees error to end the game and secure the division championship.

“I thought I was gonna stay at third,” said Chick after a wild celebration near pitcher’s mound.

The Lady Vikes, who split with Vicksburg in the regular season but won the division by a points tiebreaker, will host Starkville at 11 a.m. on Saturday in a best-of-three series. All the games will be played Saturday.

Vicksburg will travel to play Columbus at 3 p.m. Thursday using the same format.

“This feels great,” said veteran Lady Vikes’ coach Lucy Young, whose team won the division three years ago but failed to make the playoffs last year. “This is our ultimate goal, to win the division and host the first round of the playoffs. We were so disappointed last year not to make the playoffs, that to come back this year and win is something.”

That the Lady Vikes even played seemed in doubt because the Greenville bus arrived about 45 minutes late. The Honey Bees had long been eliminated from the playoffs and had nothing to play for.

“We weren’t ready to play at all. Half our girls are ready for basketball,” Greenville coach Minnie Page said. “There was no life out there.”

Warren Central’s bats did a lot to affect the Honey Bees’ moods.

Anna Mitchell led a 13-hit attack with a home run, single and three RBIs, while LaShanda Williams had a pair of singles and three RBIs. Heather Barnes, the lone senior on the team, had a triple, Katie Barnett belted two singles and an RBI, Heather Garrard had two hits and Marilyn Landers had a single and a triple.

WC, after allowing two first-inning runs on three errors, scored four in the bottom of the first. Mitchell’s three-run home run highlighted the inning.

The Lady Vikes scored five more in the bottom of the second thanks to six hits and Ashley Chaney’s two-RBI double for a 9-2 lead.

Hayley Martin, after allowing two unearned runs in the first, allowed just one hit the rest of the way. The Honey Bees threatened once more in the fifth, but stranded runners at first and second.

The Lady Vikes added two in the fourth and the game-winner in the sixth.

“I think this is a carryover from the weekend,” said Young, whose team won three of five in the tough Brookhaven Tournament on Saturday. “We hit well, our confidence was up and everybody was so enthusiastic. Everyone worked together to achieve this.”