WC set for playoff showdown with OG|[4/28/05]
Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 28, 2005
All season long, Warren Central has held its own against some of the top teams in Mississippi.
Madison Central. Clinton. Terry. Not all of them have fallen to the Lady Vikes, but most have learned what a tough task it is to face them.
By the end of this weekend, the Lady Vikes are hoping to add defending state champion Oak Grove to the list.
The teams open the best-of-three Class 5A South State championship series with a doubleheader Friday at Oak Grove at 5 p.m.. Game 3, if necessary, will be Saturday at Warren Central at 1 p.m.
“To me, we’ve got as good a chance as anybody. They’re beatable,” WC coach Lucy Young said. “They’ve been beaten twice. And like anybody else, if you get people on base and force them to make plays you’ve got a chance.”
On paper, Oak Grove seems to be the toughest of the four teams left in the playoffs. Not only do the Lady Warriors have last year’s experience to draw on, they have also rolled to a 23-2 record this season.
The Lady Vikes (23-5) are confident, though. They have two solid pitchers who can keep them in the game, in Lauren Anderson and Brittany Fuller. They have their own close-game experience to draw on from this year. And they also have an offensive style that takes advantage of any slip-up by their opponents.
WC is not a strong hitting team, but uses skillful baserunning to turn almost every opportunity into a run. Two of WC’s last five games have been decided by a 1-0 score – the regular-season finale in which the Lady Vikes were no-hit by Terry, yet still won, and a 10-inning victory in Game 1 of their second-round playoff series against Long Beach.
“You just have to play your top game and work our way on, whether it’s a bunt, error or whatever,” said Anderson, a Meridian Community College signee. “Just because they’re number one doesn’t mean they don’t make mistakes.”
Warren Central has already made school history with its playoff run. This is the first time it has advanced past the second round of the fast-pitch playoffs.
Two more wins would give the Lady Vikes their first state finals appearance and truly establish the program as one of the best in the state.
“It’d be great,” junior third baseman Anna Miller said. “I never pictured this team going this far, but we’ve worked hard and if we can do it, it’d be great.”