WC romps Ridgeland in opener, 14-0

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Warren Central catcher Amanda Bordelon tries to reel in a wild pitch from Saleda Montgomery during the Lady Vikes’ 14-0 win over Ridgeland in the slow-pitch softball season opener. (Jon GiffinThe Vicksburg Post)

[8/10/04]Warren Central didn’t waste any time Friday in starting the season off right.

The Lady Vikes exploded for six runs in the bottom of the first inning, took advantage of 12 walks, and thumped Ridgeland 14-0 in the season-opener for both teams at Lady Vikes Field.

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Shawnderris Johnson, Lauren Anderson and Bridget Dillon all drove in two runs with a single, and Cookie Johnson brought in three runs with a double and a bases-loaded walk.

Pitcher Saleda Montgomery held Ridgeland to three hits in five innings, and helped her own cause with an RBI groundout.

“When you play the classic, what you’re doing there is using that extra game to take a look and see what you’ve got. I was especially pleased with our pitching,” WC coach Lucy Young said. “We’re fielding a lot of new positions, and pitching is so important in the slow-pitch game because if you don’t have it, it turns into a game of walks.”

WC jumped on the Lady Titans early, but had some help. Ridgeland starter Victoria Sims walked the first three batters she faced before giving way to Christina Ratliff, who walked the first batter she went up against.

Anderson followed the bases-loaded walk to Cookie Johnson with a two-run single that put WC ahead 3-0, and the rout was on. The Lady Vikes got another bases-loaded single from Jessica Brock three batters later, and an outfielder error allowed three runs to score to make it 6-0.

WC batted around again in the third inning, scoring eight runs to put the game away. Five walks contributed to the rally, and Shawnderris Johnson and Dillon each had two-run singles. Cookie Johnson capped the inning with a two-run double.

The blowout allowed Young to see most of her team in action. All but two of WC’s 23 players found their way into the mercy rule shortened game, giving valuable playing time to a number of inexperienced players.

The Lady Vikes started four freshmen and one eighth-grader against Ridgeland, and all played well. Shawnderris Johnson had a key hit in the third-inning rally, scored two runs, and handled five chances at shortstop.

Tiffany Fuller scored two runs, Brock reached base twice on a single and an error, and Bordelon drew a walk that led to a run. The continued development of those players, as well as the ones behind them, will be key to the Lady Vikes’ chances this season, Young said.

“We’ve got to develop some depth on our bench. Right now, when we get past the first 11 or 12, from there you can tell the inexperience is there,” Young said. “You’ve got to have a Plan B and C in case something happens.”