Missy Gators claim Division 4-5A championship

Published 11:30 am Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Vicksburg Missy Gators had a simple mission Wednesday ­— beat the tar out of Pearl, and come home with a division championship.

Mission accomplished.

Faith Thomas pitched a two-hitter and helped her own cause with a pair of hits and an RBI at the plate, and Chandler Ellis doubled and drove in three runs as Vicksburg blasted Pearl 12-2 in the first half of a doubleheader.

Faith Thomas

Faith Thomas

The second game was actually the conclusion of a contest suspended by rain on March 27. Pearl had a four-run lead when play resumed, and went on to win 5-3, but the Missy Gators’ lopsided win in the first game gave them the Division 4-5A title.

The first tiebreaker is run differential, which Vicksburg won easily. Vicksburg (8-10, 1-1 Division 4-5A) and Pearl (2-7-1, 1-1) are the only two teams in Division 4-5A with fast-pitch programs.

Winning the division gives Vicksburg a first-round bye in the Class 5A playoffs. It’ll play a second-round series April 28 and 29 against either the second-place team from Region 3-5A or the third-place team from Region 3-1A.

“I told them we have to control the controllables, and the way we can control them is to win big in that first game,” Vicksburg coach Brian Ellis said. “It’s exciting. I was really pleased. I told them it it was the most important game we’re going to play all year. I told them we’re going to get greedy and we needed a big win.”

Pearl led 4-0 in the top of the third inning, and had the bases loaded, when the teams met at Bazinsky Park two weeks ago. Heavy rain forced the game to be suspended at that point, and they picked it up Wednesday in Pearl.

First, though, came a regularly-scheduled game that had also been delayed a day by rain. Knowing his team not only needed to win the first game of the day, but likely win it big to take the tiebreaker, Ellis convinced them to pour it on.

Torrey Daniels, Blake DeRossette, Thomas and Kori Screws all had two hits apiece. As a team, VHS had a dozen hits.

Pearl added another run when the suspended game resumed, but didn’t get anything else off of Thomas. That let the Missy Gators celebrate after the game, even though they lost.

“We outscored them 3-1 today. We won the day today,” Ellis said.

NW Rankin 14, Warren Central 2

Olivia Houston and Parris Ladner had three hits apiece and combined to drive in five runs, and Northwest Rankin (14-5) handed Warren Central (14-2) just its second loss of the season.

Warren Central committed 10 errors. Only three of Northwest Rankin’s 14 runs were earned.

Kasy Cortezie singled and scored a run for WC, which only had three hits as a team.