Lady Vikes confident as playoffs start
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 16, 2001
[10/16/01]Warren Central enters this year’s Class 5A state playoffs with plenty of confidence to go along with its experience.
It won’t be like last year, when the Lady Vikes shocked Madison Central en route to the North State Championship.
For starters, WC (24-6) will have to come out of the South. And, instead of being unknowns, the Lady Vikes will be one of the teams to beat.
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The best-of-three series against Division 5 runner up Wayne County will be at Lady Vike field today at 4, with Games 2 and 3, if necessary, to follow. Admission is $4.
“We can play with anyone,” senior Heather Garrard said. “We’ve worked hard and I think we’ll pull through.”
The Lady Vikes were 4-0 in division play and earned home-field advantage for at least the first round. Wayne County lost to Petal, but made the playoffs because there are only two teams in Division 5.
“Their pitcher is pretty consistent,” said WC coach Lucy Young, who scouted the Lady Eagles against Petal. “The defense is not the strongest I’ve ever seen, but they are pretty quick.”
The Lady Vikes’ defense has committed fewer than three errors per game.
Players said quality defense will be needed throughout the playoffs.
The concern is on offense. The Lady Vikes had three players hit over .400, but were plagued by inconsistency.
“We have to hit the ball better,” said Lyn Strawn, who’s batting .406 with five doubles. “We’ve been working a lot on hitting in practice lately.”
Marilyn Landers, the 2000 Vicksburg Post Player of the Year, leads the team with a .466 average, five doubles, six triples and a pair of home runs.
Katie Barnett is hitting .433 with five doubles, but is nursing a foot injury she suffered in the Brookhaven Tournament more than a week ago.
“The offense always concerns you because hitting is such a mental thing,” Young said. “Once the game starts, you count on certain players to get certain types of hits. … If the offense excels, the outcome will be OK.”
With a win, the Lady Vikes will either host Biloxi, the Division 8 champion, or travel to defending state champion Moss Point.
Moss Point eliminated the Missy Gators on the second day of the state tournament a year ago.
“We’re all excited right now,” senior right-fielder Shemika Carson said. “I hope we play good and go all the way and get state.”