Lady Eagles bid farewell to senior Barwick

Published 9:34 am Wednesday, September 9, 2015

After a two-hour pregame field preparation to soak up the water from afternoon showers, Porters Chapel Academy jumped to an early lead before Clinton Christian Academy pulled away late and came away with the win 14-8.

Clinton Christian scored seven runs in the seventh inning to take the lead for good.

“We had a few errors and hit some people and they came up big hitting in the seventh inning,” PCA coach Amanda Yocum said. “We rallied back, it was 8-7 us going into the seventh inning, we had them with two outs and they scored.”

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

All night Yocum preached discipline to her team and they listened.

“We kept our focus through the entire game. We didn’t have a good seventh inning but we stayed disciplined at the plate. The discipline is making the routine plays,” Yocum said.

The Lady Eagles had big plays from Hannah Embry, who went 1-for-2 with two runs and an RBI. Mallarie Ashley went 3-for-4 with three RBIs.

PCA quickly shook off the night’s loss and focused its attention on the team’s lone senior, Raylee Barwick, as she finished her final game at Bazinsky Park. In January, Barwick plans to sign with Hinds Community College to continue her softball career.

PCA has two road games left in the regular season, but Tuesday was its last home game.

“She’s been a very good leader,” Yocum said. “It’s always good to have somebody like her. They step up and show everybody how it can be done and how it’s supposed to be done.”

Barwick was greeted with tears and emotional teammates as Yocum gave a speech about her maturation and future plans.

Once Yocum rattled off Barwick’s season stats — 23 RBIs and 23 hits, 19 runs and five doubles — Barwick herself told her teammates how much she appreciated and loves them, and wants to see them improve after she leaves.

“It was really sad. It didn’t turn out how I planned but it was really great to be here with the people that I love and played with all year,” Barwick said.

At times during the game, Barwick played with tears in her eyes.

“Whenever I had errors I was just so overwhelmed with the fact it was my last game and I was doing not as good as I wanted to. It was really emotional and hard not to cry. It was worth it and I had a great year,” Barwick said.

Barwick had a chance to reflect on her attitude and level of play from her freshman year until Tuesday night. She remembers coming from Warren Central and adjusting from Mississippi’s biggest high school softball league to its smallest.

“When I first came here, it was a huge difference. The level going from 6A to 1A was a huge jump for me,” Barwick said. “I guess I wasn’t mentally ready to play here and felt like I needed to work more on being confident.”

She’s grown more confident in herself and said if she keeps working hard, she’ll go far in life.

The one thing Barwick will miss most about playing with PCA is her teammates, whom she calls her sisters.

“I’ve been with them for four years and it’s really sad watching them grow up and then all of a sudden having to leave,” Barwick said.