Missy Gators rally from three down, nip Franklin County, 5-4

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 20, 2001

[03/20/01] The Vicksburg Missy Gators shook off Monday night’s chilly weather and a little bit of rust from an 11-day layoff to overcome a three-run deficit and beat Franklin County, 5-4.

Dana Daigre scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the fifth inning to give the Missy Gators the go-ahead run, and Emily Mathes pitched two innings of scoreless relief to get the save.

Lauren Johnson started and allowed no earned runs in five innings to get the win, while shortstop LaToya Trunell went 2-for-3 with a pair of singles and an RBI.

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“I was dadgummed proud of the way we came back. We didn’t give up. The first few games of the year, if this had been, we just didn’t have the motivation to get with it,” VHS coach Josh Harper said. “But we’re starting to climb back up that tree. I think these young ladies see what they’ve got looming in front of them now, with Clinton and Brandon and the rest of those district games looming around the corner.”

After three VHS (2-3) errors in the top of the third inning helped Franklin (3-3) to a 4-1 lead, the Missy Gators chipped away at the deficit in the bottom of the inning.

Viola Howard singled, stole second and scored from there on a groundout by Kassidy Dollar to cut it to 4-2. Krystal Lofton then reached on an error and scored on a two-out single by Wendy Womble to make it 4-3.

Lofton struck again in the fifth, leading off the inning with a double before scoring on a groundout by Dayna Nugent. Daigre, who had singled, went to third on the groundout and scored easily when Franklin pitcher Mandy McGehee skipped a pitch past catcher Krystyn Lovett.

“A lot of mental errors is what hurt us,” Franklin County coach Leigh Ann Mason said.

VHS’ defense warmed up over the last two innings to help Mathes preserve the win. Lovett started the top of the sixth with a single, but VHS right fielder Kelsey Hudson made a shoetop catch and Nugent and Trunell turned a double play to end the threat.

Franklin got another runner on in the seventh, but Daigre fielded a sharp grounder to third and tossed to second for a fielder’s choice, and Trunell made a backhand stab of a liner over her head to end the game.

“I was very surprised, and I’m very glad that we didn’t look too sloppy, especially with Clinton,” Harper said, referring to Tuesday’s opponent.

VHS, which played its last game on March 8 because of spring break and a rainout, took a 1-0 lead on Trunell’s RBI single in the second.

VHS came apart defensively in the top of the third, however. Three VHS errors and a wild pitch led to four runs for Franklin County. The Lady Bulldogs had only two hits in the inning, including a two-run, two-out single by third baseman Emma Harris that gave Franklin a 4-1 lead.