Round one goes to Lady Vikes Warren Central dominates rival Vicksburg

Published 12:03 pm Wednesday, September 8, 2010

After getting shut out last week by Northwest Rankin, Warren Central needed to address its hitting woes.

The Lady Vikes found something that worked against archrival Vicksburg on Tuesday.

Warren Central pounded out 13 hits, led by Audriana Ratliff’s triple and double, to beat the Missy Gators 12-2 in six innings. The Lady Vikes improved to 5-5 overall and took a 1-0 lead in the division. Vicksburg slipped to 4-7 and 0-1 in the two-team division.

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Ratliff said she worked on a new approach at the plate.

“I hadn’t hit the ball well at all in the last six games,” Ratliff said. “I wanted to change that. Not hitting the ball is why we have been losing.”

Warren Central hit the ball against the Missy Gators and overcame a 2-0 deficit after one inning to take control in the second with six runs.

“We started out bad and then worked ourselves out of the hole,” WC coach Dana McGivney said. “We just had jitters there in the first inning. But we hit the ball well from the start. Even when something was caught, it was hit hard.”

Vicksburg grabbed a 2-0 lead after WC made three errors in the bottom of the first inning. In the top of the second, the Lady Vikes got singles from Katie Channell, Chelsea Worley and Lexie Burleigh with a walk to Mary Mullen mixed in. Burleigh’s hit scored Channell and an error plated Worley to tie the game. Ratliff’s double scored two and put WC ahead to stay at 4-2. Sydnei Smith and Karley Hinson both had RBI singles to cap the rally for a 6-2 lead. In the WC third, Mullen singled to left to plate Channell to make it 7-2. Vicksburg had a chance to edge closer in the fifth, when the Lady Vikes strung three straight hits with two outs, but a fielder’s choice by Grace Bufkin ended the threat.

“We just needed to string more hits together with people on base,” VHS coach Michelle Fisackerly said. “We’re about the same as we were about two weeks ago. We had a couple of innings that were rough on us.”

The WC sixth was one of those rough innings as the Lady Vikes scored five times thanks to three Vicksburg errors. The Lady Vikes also had three triples, the first coming from Ratliff.

“I was surprised I hit it that far,” Ratliff said of her hit to left-center.

Smith and Krista Cortezie also had RBI triples to boost the WC lead to 12-2.

Ratliff finished with three RBIs off two hits and scored two runs. Smith had two hits, two RBIs and two runs scored while Channell and Worley had two hits each. WC travels to Madison Central on Thursday.

Heather Middleton had two hits to pace Vicksburg. Morgan Callendar and Shannon Botsford each scored in the first inning to stake the Missy Gators to a 2-0 lead.

Vicksburg will play in Clinton’s tournament on Saturday and then have a rematch with WC next Wednesday.