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Missy Gators blow big lead at Natchez, fail in quest to reach state playoffs

[10/1/04]NATCHEZ When Natchez fell behind 10-0, things looked grim. The Lady Bulldogs had played poor defense, made baserunning errors and showed an alarming lack of discipline at the plate.

Then things changed. As though a collective switch had been thrown, the Lady Bulldogs became a different team in the bottom of the third inning, scoring eight runs and beginning to play markedly improved defense.

The result was a dramatic 18-15 Natchez victory that eliminated Vicksburg from playoff contention. The Missy Gators had to beat Natchez by two runs to reach the postseason.

“Even when we were 10 down, I kept pushing for them to do what they can,” Natchez head coach Charlie Williams said. “I told them we have to start hitting a little earlier in games. (The third inning) was when I told them we had to get started.”

In the crucial third inning, the Lady Bulldogs sent 12 batters to the plate, scoring eight runs on seven hits, including a home run and double from leadoff hitter Sarah Weaver.

Vicksburg scored three runs in the fourth and fifth before the Natchez offense got rolling again in the fifth inning, as the Lady Bulldogs sent the entire lineup up to bat.

Porshe Singleton led off and scored one of her three runs. Robinson, Frey and Weaver all walked in the inning and went on to score.

Vicksburg looked to have an easy victory after scoring 10 runs in the first three innings. But poor defense in the third and fifth innings allowed 15 Natchez runs, and the Vicksburg bats couldn’t keep up.

Vicksburg head coach Kori Crutchfield refused comment after the game.

Port Gibson reaches playoffs in first season

Port Gibson, playing in its first season of softball, reached the state playoffs with a 24-4 win over Franklin County.

Shyvonta Edwards had two home runs, while Jameria Walker and Lee Porter each homered in the victory.

Gayla Smith will lead the Lady Waves into the playoffs on Thursday, but their opponent has yet to be determined.