Lady Vikes, Vicksburg look sharp in tourney

Published 12:19 am Sunday, August 23, 2015

Scoring a run in every inning of a softball game takes a lot of effort and makes it exciting to watch. Warren Central accomplished this impressive feat on their home field in an 11-0 shutout against Riverside Saturday afternoon in the WC Slow-Pitch Invitational.

In their second game of the day, the Lady Vikes beat Pearl 5-2.

“We did our job, we worked together, we waited on position and we hit the ball hard. That’s when good things happen and that’s when we’re unbeatable,” head coach Dana McGivney told her team after the win.

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Anaiyah Fultz ignited the Lady Vikes’ offense in the bottom of the first inning with one of her two doubles. Sarah Kate Smith followed with another powerful swing to bring Fultz home for their first run of the game.

“Our focus has been hitting the ball hard,” McGivney said. “Doesn’t matter where you hit it, just hit it hard. That’s kind of our philosophy now.”

The Lady Vikes have bought into this philosophy. Swings were consistent, moved players along the bases all game, and flew well into the outfield to earn 12 hits against Riverside.

Pitcher Megan Stewart struck out four and hit a single to bring Smith home in the bottom of the fourth. Smith had reached on a triple, which put her in position to score.

“She did a good job today. Pretty much starting out with a strike and that’s what you want to do. Put a strike on them with the first pitch and then work from there,” McGivney said of Stewart’s pitching.

A team doesn’t get to shut out its opponent without efficient defense. Despite hiccups on ground balls, Fultz continues to grow into her new position at shortstop, making smart decisions on where to throw for an easy out.

“Morgan (Stewart) made a great throw to third to keep a girl from going to third on a hit to right field, April Lynn as well,” McGivney said. “That’s what we tell our players, if we didn’t have confidence in your abilities then you wouldn’t be out there.”

Warren Central’s tournament was not only an impressive day for the hosts, but for Vicksburg High as well. The Missy Gators swept their doubleheader against Riverside and Hazlehurst and improved their record to 3-0.

To start Saturday’s tournament, the Missy Gators took on a fresh-legged Riverside and edged out a 14-11 victory.

VHS coach Michelle Fisackerly said the team had a hard time offensively and defensively, but settled down.

“The first game we just struggled a little bit with pitching and stuff like that. We worked through that and got the bat on the ball,” Fisackerly said.

The Missy Gators will rematch against Riverside next Saturday at noon on their home field.

After clearing their heads, the Missy Gators played a more complete game against Hazlehurst and won 13-1 to complete the doubleheader sweep.

“Our baserunning was better and you can’t ask for it better than that. I can’t complain,” Fisackerly said. “We took a breather, talked about the positives of everything that happened in the game and if there’s a negative, we discuss it and try to make it better.”

Fisackerly said some of her players are still hitting the ball too early, but collectively the Missy Gators scored 27 runs against Riverside and Hazlehurst.

Being undefeated feels good to Fisackerly, but she knows the team can’t get cocky about it. She knows they have to play their best every game.

“You can’t go in going ‘we’re 3-0 and got to win,’ or ‘we’re going to win no doubt about it.’ We’ve got to go in saying what did we do last game, let’s improve on that and lets do that.”