Lady Vikes advance past Tide|[4/17/05]

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 18, 2005

All season long, the top of Warren Central’s lineup has carried the team. On Saturday, when it mattered most, the bottom half did its share.

The Lady Vikes Nos. 6-9 hitters had four hits, scored five runs and drove in four in a doubleheader sweep of Picayune in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs.

Andi Hearn had an RBI single and Anna Miller scored both of WC’s runs in a 2-1 victory in Game 1. In Game 2, No. 9 hitter Bridget Dillon blew the game open with a key two-run single, and Anna Jones added an RBI single and scored two runs as the Lady Vikes advanced to the second round with a 9-1 win.

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WC will host Long Beach in the second round on Thursday.

Game 1 will be at Warren Central, and Games 2 and 3 will be on the coast on Saturday.

“It seems like the entire season, the top of our order has carried us. Luckily today, since they were not on top of their game offensively, our middle to the bottom came through,” WC coach Lucy Young said. “Some people that got hits and got errors that turned into big plays, that kept us alive.”

WC (21-5) has struggled at the plate all season long, yet won games with savvy baserunning and strong pitching. Saturday was no exception.

Lauren Anderson had 13 strikeouts and allowed four hits in Game 1. She walked none and didn’t allow a run until the seventh, when Amanda Feeley tripled and scored on a groundout. By that time, the Lady Vikes had scored a pair of unearned runs.

WC only had two hits in the game, but Miller reached twice on errors and scored both times. In the second inning, Tiffany Fuller brought her home with a single. Hearn did the same in the fourth to make it 2-0.

“The first game was almost a reflection of Thursday night,” Young said, referring to a 1-0 victory over Terry in which the Lady Vikes did not get a hit. “But I was real pleased that we came back in that second game.”

WC didn’t get a hit in Game 2 until the fourth inning, but took advantage of a defensive meltdown by Picayune (19-10) to jump to a 4-0 lead after two innings.

The Lady Tide committed seven errors in the game, leading to six unearned runs for WC. Two miscues in the fifth inning helped the Lady Vikes blow the game open.

After Mandy Fuller led off with a single, Cookie Johnson and Anderson both reached on errors.

Tide pitcher Kasey Mitchell retired the next two batters, but hit Jones with a pitch and allowed a two-run single to Dillon to make it 8-1.

Tiffany Fuller finished the inning with an RBI single to stretch the lead to 9-1, and Picayune never threatened again.