State champ Cleveland thumps VHS|[08/15/2008]

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 15, 2008

Last May Cleveland High won the Class 4A fast-pitch state championship. Eight starters, including six seniors, were in Vicksburg Thursday afternoon to play Vicksburg High in a slow-pitch Division 3-4A game.

First-year Missy Gators coach Michelle Fisackerly, therefore, wasn’t too upset about her team’s 10-2 loss at the hands of the visiting Lady Wildcats.

“Ten to two, that’s not bad against a team like Cleveland,” Fisackerly said. “We made a lot of good plays in the field. Yeah, we had some walks, but our pitcher’s just 11 years old.”

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Cleveland (5-0) was able to take advantage of nine walks to set up its offense which collected 10 hits. Seven of those came in the key second and third innings as the Lady Wildcats built a 6-0 lead.

Cleveland coach David Price, who also coaches the school’s fast-pitch club, felt his team can do better.

“We’re off to a pretty good start at 5-0 but I thought we were a little flat,” Price said. “We’re going to have to step it up this weekend because we’re playing in Grenada’s Tournament. We’ve got Columbus, Grenada and Madison Central on Saturday.”

Down 6-0 in the bottom of the third, Vicksburg (1-1) had a chance to get on the board after Kelli Brewer’s double put runners on second and third with one out. But two pop ups failed to advance the runners and Cleveland maintained its lead.

“Our bat was weak. We needed a stronger bat against a team like that,” Fisackerly said.

Vicksburg did get some runs, but they came in the fifth when the score was 8-0. Brewer got her second hit of the game with an RBI single, then scored on Claire Ray’s sacrifice fly to left to make it 8-2. Lea Davies and Savannah Pritchard both followed with two-out hits but the Missy Gators couldn’t get any closer.

Cleveland got two in the sixth to put it away. Mary Beth Cox led the Lady Wildcats with two hits and three RBIs. Emily Hatcher had two hits while Paige Livingston had a triple and a run scored.

Brewer and Pritchard each had two hits for Vicksburg.

“I thought Vicksburg played pretty good. They played hard for her (Fisackerly),” Price said.

Vicksburg returns to action Tuesday with a home game against Natchez Cathedral.

Lawrence Co. 9, WC 5

Lawrence County took advantage of four Warren Central errors in the top of the seventh to score four runs and beat the Lady Vikes. Warren Central committed nine errors total in the game, thwarting a steady offense that collected nine hits and came from behind twice to grab the lead.

“Even though we got some timely hits to get us back in the game each time, the errors just killed us,” WC coach Lucy Young said. “We blew every opportunity. Several were almost gifts and we blew them. We have to work on our composure.”

Kaitlyn Patton went 2-for-3 for Warren Central, while Mandy Fuller drove in a pair of runs with a triple in the third inning.