Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 29, 2001

serves VHS well in comeback over Clinton

Wendy Womble, Vicksburg High’s catcher, flies out to center field against Clinton. (The Vicksburg Post/Melanie duncan)

[08/29/01] When Vicksburg High fell behind 5-0 in the first inning, all it took was a little “B.P.” to come back.

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The extra Batting Practice the Missy Gators have done lately apparently paid off for Brandy Parker, known as B.P. to her teammates. She was also impressive on the Base Paths in an 11-6 win over Clinton Tuesday at Halls Ferry Park.

Parker went 3-for-4, including a go-ahead three-run homer in the fourth inning that sparked the Missy Gators (5-4). She and Dayna Nugent, who went 4-for-4 with a double, combined for seven of VHS’ 11 hits from the top two spots in the batting order.

“She hit the ball well … and you saw her speed,” first-year VHS coach Jennifer Wilkerson said of Parker, who scored four runs. “She’s smart, too. She’s heads-up on the bases.”

But most of all, she’s just fast. She stretched an extra base out of almost every hit and nearly lapped a teammate on her homer. On a blooper in the third inning, Parker caught everyone off guard when she hustled home ahead of the throw. That led to another run when the catcher overthrew the third baseman and Nugent advanced.

“When I saw she wasn’t paying attention, I took off,” said Parker, who also reached base in her fourth at-bat when the shortstop bobbled the ball just enough to give her an extra step.

Wilkerson said she was impressed with Parker’s performance, but most of all, she was impressed with the way her team bounced back from a bad first inning. The Missy Gators committed three errors in the first and the Lady Arrows (0-6) got a two-run double from Brooke Bradley and RBI singles from Laura Finch and Rebecca Estes to take a quick 5-0 lead.

“I’m really, really proud that they did not give up,” Wilkerson said. “Coming back like they did, hit-by-hit, showed character.

“We worked really hard the last couple of days, and we’ve really started to come together. Those hours of B.P. paid off.”

Viola Howard had just one hit but drove in three runs two on a bloop single in the sixth and one on a sacrifice fly in the first. Katie Jenkins and LaToya Trunell also had RBIs.

“If you score in five of six innings, you can play with almost anybody,” Clinton coach Allen Lunceford said of VHS.

“They hit where they needed to and we didn’t. She’s got a good club.”

What happened to the Lady Arrows wasn’t unusual, he said.

“We have one big inning and that’s it,” said Lunceford, whose team has lost to powerhouses Kossuth, Clarkdale, Florence, Terry and Brandon.

A scheduling mixup caused the start of the game to be delayed by about 30 minutes and canceled the J.V. game. Lunceford had it as a home game, as did Wilkerson.

“I don’t know who was to blame, and I don’t care,” Lunceford said. “We needed to play a game.”

Beating the Lady Arrows will be a confidence-booster for the Missy Gators, said Wilkerson, whose team hosts powerhouse Northwest Rankin Thursday.

“You always think of Clinton as a rival and (the players) get built up for it,” Wilkerson said. “This will help us.”

Parker said, “We’re pumped up. We feel like we can beat anybody now.”