Anderson hurls team to national championship

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 6, 2003

[8/5/03]Her coach wanted to give her a break Sunday, but Lauren Anderson didn’t want one. And she certainly wasn’t going to give her opponents one, not with a national title on the line.

Anderson held the Alabama Cobras to one run in two games Sunday, finishing with a complete-game shutout, to lead the Mississippi Blast to the 16-and-under Class-B Eastern National Tournament championship at Freedom Ridge Park in Ridgeland.

“It’s been really good. It’s like a lifelong dream come true,” Anderson said of winning a national title.

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The Blast, a team composed primarily of Clinton-area players, was sent to the losers’ bracket on Saturday by the Vicksburg-based Southern Explosion.

The Blast battled back, though, winning eight straight games to reach the championship game against the Cobras. Anderson pitched both games against the Cobras and was barely touched.

Anderson allowed one run in a 4-1 victory that forced a single-game, winner-take-all championship game, then followed that up with a shutout as Mississippi won 5-0.

In the sixth inning, Anderson’s coach decided to give his star pitcher a break. She didn’t want to leave the game, though, and was allowed to finish.

“My coach was going to take me out to give me a break, and I asked him not to take me out because I wanted to finish it,” Anderson said. “And our other pitcher didn’t want to come in because I was doing so well.”

Anderson also won another battle Sunday, against the weather. The last inning was played as a storm began rolling through the Ridgeland area.

“It was starting to rain, so all the umpires, coaches, and people were telling me I had to strike them out,” Anderson said with a laugh.