Lady Vikes hold off VHS for division win

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 13, 2002

Alisha Stamps of Warren Central (13) streaks across home plate with the Lady Vikes’ first run in the third inning on Thursday as Vicksburg High catcher Kelli Outzs takes the throw. Warren Central won the first matchup of the season between the crosstown rivals, 2-1. (The Vicksburg Post/C. Todd Sherman)

[09/13/02]The Vicksburg Missy Gators escaped enough tough jams against Warren Central on Thursday to make Houdini proud, but they couldn’t pull a victory out of their hats.

WC (7-4, 1-1 Division 6-5A) left the bases loaded three times and stranded 11 runners in all, but needed some late defensive heroics to hang on for a 2-1 win.

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Keisha Blue was 2-for-3 with an RBI double for the Lady Vikes, while Cherrelle Stamps went 2-for-3 with a double for VHS (3-7, 0-2).

“We’ve got to stop getting those butterflies and stop getting overanxious,” said WC coach Lucy Young, whose team hammered out nine hits. “We hit good pitches, we just mishit so many of them, just getting pieces of the ball.”

WC got its runs on Blue’s RBI double in the third inning and an RBI single by Lyn Strawn in the fourth, but left the bases loaded in the second, third and fourth innings.

VHS committed three errors in the game, including two that led to both Lady Vike runs, but played solid defense otherwise. The Missy Gators turned a double play to thwart a budding rally in the fifth inning, and escaped jams in the second and fourth with fielder’s choices.

“I think they did very well defensively,” VHS coach Laquitta Smith said. “They got me out of some tough jams.”

Although the Missy Gators were able to escape with minimal damage, they weren’t able to capitalize on their good fortune. VHS had base runners in all but the fifth inning, but didn’t get one past second base until the seventh.

“They’re still learning to be disciplined at the plate,” Smith said. “That’s what we’re working on. I’m only losing two seniors from this year, so we’re going to get there.”

WC’s own defense had a hand in that. Strawn robbed Heather Shelby of a leadoff hit with a nice diving catch to start the fifth, and the Lady Vike outfield deflated a seventh-inning rally with a heads-up play.

With runners at first and third with one out, Shelby blooped a ball into center field for an apparent base hit. The runner on first had to hold to see if the ball would be caught, however, and was thrown out at second on the force out.

“We were on top of our game defensively,” Strawn said.

VHS first baseman Lauren Johnson scored from third on the play to cut it to 2-1, but the next batter hit an easy grounder to short to end the game.

“Anytime you’re playing close like that, any error can doom you,” said Young, who was doused with the water bucket by her players after the game. “If you’re not going to hit the ball, you’d better play some solid defense.”