Pearl vexes Vicksburg

Published 10:35 am Friday, March 27, 2015

Vicksburg High’s Olivia Oakes throws a pitch in the third inning of Thursday’s game against Pearl. (Ernest Bowker/The Vicksburg Post)

Vicksburg High’s Olivia Oakes throws a pitch in the third inning of Thursday’s game against Pearl. (Ernest Bowker/The Vicksburg Post)

PEARL — The Vicksburg Missy Gators showed some fight after falling behind by seven runs early against Pearl.

The only problem was, Pearl was more than happy to knock them back down.

The Lady Pirates scored three runs in the fourth inning and six in the sixth, each time answering Vicksburg rallies, and left the field with a 16-6 victory Thursday.

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“It seemed like we would get on a pace, then it got away from us. And got away from us on some mistakes,” Vicksburg coach Brian Ellis said. “And that’s all year long. If we make the routine plays, we’re in the ballgame.”

Both Vicksburg (4-8, 0-1 Division 4-5A) and Pearl (4-6, 1-0) are assured of a playoff berth since they’re the only two teams in their division.

Ellis, though, was keenly aware that some improvements need to be made if his squad is going to make anything more than a cameo postseason appearance.

Pearl jumped out to a 7-0 after three innings, then stayed a step ahead once the Missy Gators got their act together.

Jada Sims had a two-run single in the top of the third to pull Vicksburg to within 7-3. It left two runners in scoring position, however, and couldn’t get out of a jam in the bottom half of the inning.

Pearl’s Madi Perkins delivered a two-out single with the bases loaded, and another run scored on a wild pitch to push the lead back to 10-3.

“That was a big hit right there,” Ellis said.

The Missy Gators made another charge, getting to within 10-6 in the sixth. Grace Bufkin had an RBI double and Olivia Oakes drove in a run with a fielder’s choice.

Pearl put the game away, though, by scoring six times in the bottom of the sixth to end the game by the 10-run mercy rule.

Katlynn Harvey singled in two runs and Malita Chaffer’s RBI single finished it.

Harvey went 3-for-5 with a double, two RBIs and three runs scored in the game. Lauren Pope was 2-for-3 with four RBIs and three runs scored, and Perkins had two hits and two RBIs.

“We still should have had an opportunity, scoring six runs, to win the ballgame. Even with the hits they got,” Ellis said before rattling off a list of defensive miscues the Missy Gators made that led to runs. “That’s kind of our Jekyll and Hyde thing that we go through.”

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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