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WC wins game over VHS, but Missy Gators win title

Warren Central’s Saleda Montgomery (1) is tagged out at home plate by Vicksburg catcher Claire Ray while trying to score in the sixth inning Saturday. (Jon GiffinThe Vicksburg Post)

[8/29/04]Warren Central got the best of Vicksburg with an 8-3 win in Saturday’s final game of the Lady Vikes Invitational.

But the Missy Gators had the last laugh as they claimed the tournament championship based on run differential after a three-way tie between Vicksburg, Warren Central and Riverside.

Vicksburg allowed 10 runs in its two games against Riverside and WC. Riverside also gave up 10 runs, and Warren Central allowed 12. Had the Lady Vikes plated one more run against VHS, Riverside would have gone home with the trophy.

“I knew it was possible, but I didn’t expect it,” VHS coach Kori Crutchfield said of winning the title.

VHS (2-5) had allowed 77 runs and scored 11 in losing its first four games of the season. They scored 17 runs on Saturday and gave up a total of 16.

“We played excellent defense,” Crutchfield said. “We made fewer errors, we got our key outs and then we hit the ball. We hit the ball really well.”

Heather Shelby paced the Missy Gators at the plate, finishing 4-of-11 with two RBIs in three games. Kristi Shelby had a pair of hits and led the team with three RBIs.

Amanda Doyle led the Lady Vikes with a 6-for-8 day, and Cookie Johnson contributed six RBIs. Sisters Tiffany and Brittany Fuller combined to go 8-of-19 with five RBIs.

Warren Central was more proficient offensively throughout the day, but was hurt by an opening game loss to Riverside, 9-7.

“Our tournament day can be summed up in our poor performance in our first game this morning,” WC coach Lucy Young said. “We came out flat … Everything that we could do wrong, we did wrong.”

The Lady Vikes committed six errors and fell behind 9-2 early in the game. They rallied for five runs in the fifth inning, but fell short as time expired.

“We just weren’t mentally ready to play,” Young said. “We made mistakes, and then we got behind and got kind of panicked. It wasn’t in any one position that we didn’t perform well, it was all-around.”

The ball rolled the other way for Vicksburg.

Playing a weaker team like Yazoo City to begin the day helped the Missy Gators, Crutchfield said.

Vicksburg followed the 11-6 win over the Lady Indians with a hard-nosed effort against Riverside. Heather Shelby had a bases-loaded, game-winning hit in the bottom of the sixth inning to give VHS the 3-2 win.

Now the Missy Gators head into Tuesday’s district matchup against Warren Central with some confidence built up.

“I knew we were up against the same caliber ball teams, and I knew this would be a turning point for us if we made something happen,” she said. “Taking the first-place trophy home and keeping Warren Central to such a close scoring range, we’ll definitely come back Tuesday and fight hard against them again.”