Senior-led WC rolls in Classic|[08/04/07]

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 4, 2007

A senior laden Warren Central slow pitch softball team is looking for big things this fall.

Lady Vikes fans got a glimpse Friday night at the preseason River City Classic of an experienced team that is capable of scoring plenty of runs. WC did just that in sweeping two games from Vicksburg, 10-3, and Port Gibson, 16-1.

In the final game of the Classic, Port Gibson crushed Vicksburg 18-2.

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&#8220We’ve been playing together for a long time. For me it’s been since the seventh grade,” said senior WC shortstop Shawn Johnson. &#8220We’ll be fighting for a state championship. We’ve worked hard for the last two weeks to get ready.”

Veteran WC coach Lucy Young likes her team that features eight seniors. Two of them were missing Friday, but that didn’t slow the Lady Vikes, who broke out to 10-0 leads by the third inning in both games.

&#8220We have a big group of seniors and I like having an older team. But we also have a good mix of younger players. They’ll be able to learn from our seniors,” Young said.

&#8220Tonight was about getting a look at what we’ve got. Two of our girls weren’t here. Anna Jones is at an equestrian event while Mandy Fuller is playing at the ASA fast-pitch nationals. Once Mandy comes back, she’ll pitch but may also play other places,” Young said.

The Lady Vikes lost just two players from last year’s team in Kari Lieberman and Fatima Chase. Junior Andi Hearn and her younger sister, Sissy, have transferred back to WC after spending two seasons at Porters Chapel Academy.

&#8220We started practice on July 23 but that’s still a short prep time to get ready. We’re glad to have Andi and Sissy back and we have Shelbi Conerly out this fall,” Young said.

Warren Central will start its regular season Tuesday with a game at Ridgeland.

Young said she and Vicksburg-Warren School District Athletic Director Lum Wright petitioned the MHSAA to move one of the three teams from Division 5-5A into Division 6-5A. The change was necessary after Natchez dropped slow-pitch softball.

&#8220Natchez dropped out in June and I would rather our girls have to compete to win the district. We were able to bring Brandon in from Division 5 and that’s a good team for us to play,” Young said.

Against Port Gibson, Johnson and Keke Prentiss combined for nine RBIs. Johnson drove in five off a two-run triple and a two-run single. Prentiss had an inside-the-park grand slam for her four RBIs.

Quan Wren had a double and Shavonte Edwards had a triple for Port Gibson.

In the Vicksburg win, Andi Hearn had a double, single and scored three runs. The Lady Vikes drew 10 walks and made use of four Missy Gator errors. Fran Brown also had two hits.

The Missy Gators got a hit from Claiborne Bryant and RBIs from Juwanda Bingham, Samantha Frith and Mary Quinn DeRossette.