Clinton wins division title with 16-6 victory over WC|[04/04/08]

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 4, 2008

Going into Thursday’s game with mighty Clinton, the Warren Central Lady Vikes knew winning a division championship would be a tall order. They had to beat Clinton by eight runs to overcome a tiebreaker advantage Clinton gained in an earlier meeting.

The Lady Arrows made sure WC never even got close to scoring eight runs, let alone enjoying a championship celebration.

Lauren Goolsby went 5-for-5 with a triple, four RBIs and two runs scored, Clinton cranked out 17 hits, and the Lady Arrows routed Warren Central 16-3 at Lady Vikes Field. Anna Godfrey went 4-for-5 with a triple, double and five RBIs for Clinton, Cori White had a triple and three RBIs among her three hits, and every Clinton starter reached base at least once.

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Fortunately for Warren Central, the lopsided loss didn’t dash its playoff hopes. Thanks to last week’s 10-0 win over Greenville-Weston, WC (12-10, 1-2 Division 4-5A) was already in. There is a 10-run limit when it comes to the run differential tiebreaker, making Tuesday’s rematch with the Honeybees in Greenville meaningless.

And, no matter what happened against Clinton (19-7, 4-0), WC was already facing a tough first-round opponent — Northwest Rankin. Northwest clinched the Division 3-5A title on Thursday despite a 2-1 loss to Madison Central, thanks to an overwhelming run differential tiebreaker in division play. Madison and Grenada play today, with Grenada needing to win by five runs or more to overtake Madison for second place and a first-round matchup with Clinton.

“We figured we were playing for second, just because we needed eight runs. Our goal was to play well, and we had a mental letdown. We’re going to come back next week and look for bigger and better things,” Warren Central coach Dana McGivney said. “It would’ve been nice to finish first, though.”

Clinton hit three triples against Warren Central, including two that helped put it out of reach.

After a two-run single by Goolsby put the Lady Arrows ahead 4-3 in the top of the second, Godfrey smoked a line drive over the head of Karlee Herman in left field. The ball rolled to the fence and Godfrey had a three-run triple that gave the Lady Arrows a working cushion. They added one more run in the inning on an RBI single from Emily Todd, who also brought in a run with a first-inning single.

Anna Kate Jackson kept the Lady Vikes at arm’s length after that. Despite allowing runners to reach in every inning from the third through the sixth, the sophomore right-hander only let one reach third base. In six innings, she allowed three unearned runs, two walks and six hits, and struck out four.

“I felt like we’d pull away just because of having Anna Kate in the circle,” said Kevin Griffin, a former Porters Chapel coach who is in his first year at Clinton. “She keeps the ball low and does a great job of damage control. She did a great job tonight.”