Missy Gators allow 11 unearned runs in loss

Published 4:24 am Friday, April 29, 2016

The self-destructive tendencies that plagued the Vicksburg Missy Gators all season resurfaced one last time Thursday night.

The Missy Gators committed 10 errors that led to 11 unearned runs, and lost 12-0 to Lake Cormorant in Game 2 of a second-round Class 5A softball playoff series.

Lake Cormorant (18-6) outscored Vicksburg 24-0 in sweeping the best-of-three series. Vicksburg (8-15) committed 17 errors in the two games, and only had two hits and four baserunners.

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Myah’ Wright led off the fourth inning with a single for Vicksburg’s only hit in Game 2, and Shelby Muirhead reached on a dropped third strike in the second inning. VHS was shut out for the fifth time this season.

The Missy Gators committed five errors in the first inning that led to nine runs, eight of which were unearned.

“They are a good team with a very good pitcher. Even at that, we didn’t give ourselves a chance. If we play defense, we could have played some small ball and had a chance,” Vicksburg coach Brian Ellis said.

“It’s frustrating to say the least. We struggled this year with consistency. It really hurt us at the end.”

Samantha Ruff doubled twice and drove in three runs for Lake Cormorant, and Mayson Ray was 2-for-4 with two doubles, an RBI and a run scored. Every starter for Lake Cormorant scored at least one run, and eight of the nine had a hit.

Pitcher Harley Smith allowed one hit, struck out seven and walked none.

Although Vicksburg was blitzed out of the playoffs, Ellis said he was happy with the team’s season. It won a playoff series for the second consecutive year, after never winning one before 2015.

The Missy Gators also continued to churn out individual talent.

Pitcher Olivia Oakes signed with Hinds Community College, which will make her the sixth former VHS player in the junior college or four-year ranks next season.

All in all, it shows an upward trend for a program that seemed stuck in perpetual mediocrity for most of its existence. That outweighs the brutal ending to the season, Ellis said.

“All in all, we can still be proud of winning in the playoffs for the second year in a row,” Ellis said. “I think it makes the girls work harder year in and year out expecting to win in the playoffs.

“They know what they have to do to compete for wins at playoff time. Also, the fact that our program is getting recognized as such. It’s most definitely something to keep building on year after year.”