Early deficit, errors too much to handle

Published 9:45 am Friday, August 28, 2015

FLORENCE — The Vicksburg Missy Gators seem to have a handle on the offensive side of softball. The defensive side still needs some work.

Jazmin Green and Shelby Muirhead each hit two-run, over-the-fence home runs Thursday, but the Missy Gators committed eight errors and lost 17-13 to Florence.

In two games against Florence this week — both losses — Vicksburg scored 24 runs but committed 22 errors. Three of those came in the first inning Thursday, when Florence scored seven runs to take a lead it never let go of.

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“We kind of did the same thing Tuesday with the errors. We came out here with a better positive attitude, and we just had those errors in the first inning. We tried to come back, and we came back a couple of times. How can you be mad when two of your girls hit home runs?” Vicksburg coach Michelle Fisackerly said. “We just needed to play offense and defense well together, not one or the other.”

Florence’s big first inning put the Missy Gators behind 7-1, and they spent the rest of the game trying to dig out of that hole.

They almost did it.

A two-run double by Myah Wright in the top of the fifth inning was followed by Green’s home run over the center field fence.

It was the first for the senior in five seasons of varsity softball.

“It was really exciting. When I made that turn at first base, it was like ‘ooh,’” Green said, laughing as she made a gasping sound. “It was really exciting to go around and come back to my teamies.”

Green’s homer, along with an unearned run later in the inning, pulled the Missy Gators within a run at 11-10.

Florence, however, answered the six-run rally with one of its own in the bottom of the fifth to push the margin back to seven runs. Vicksburg committed four errors to spur things along.

Florence’s Abby Smith and Skylar Hollingsworth each had an RBI single in the fifth inning, and Taylor Clark had a two-run single. Smith finished the game 3-for-5 with a double, RBI and three runs scored.

Neither team scored in the sixth inning — the only time in the game that happened — but the Missy Gators had one last push in them.

Green led off the top of the seventh with a walk, then Muirhead lifted a high fly ball down the line and over the fence in left field for her first career home run.

“It’s a great feeling. Coach tells us not to follow the ball all the way, because you’ve got to be focused on baserunning. But when I saw that ball drop over the fence, it was glorious,” Muirhead said.

Muirhead’s blast made it 17-12, and the Missy Gators got their next two runners on base before running out of steam. Back-to-back ground outs brought in their final run, and Florence second baseman Mattie Granberry caught a sinking liner off the bat of Jada Sims for the final out.

“We fought hard the whole entire game, and that’s what I’m proud of,” Green said. “I’m not proud of taking any losses, but I’d rather go down fighting.”


WC 6, Ridgeland 1

Morgan Stewart delivered a two-run, pinch-hit single in the sixth inning as Warren Central scored four times to blow the game open and went on to beat Ridgeland on Thursday.

Ashley Coley and April Lynn each had an RBI double in the sixth inning. Lynn finished the game 2-for-3 with two doubles and an RBI.

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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