Slumping Lady Vikes drop game to Clinton

Published 6:45 pm Wednesday, March 28, 2018

CLINTON — Warren Central’s softball team has picked an inopportune time to go into a slump.

Sierra McKinley hit a three-run home run, Kaylei Peterson added a two-run shot, and Clinton beat the Lady Vikes 8-0 on Tuesday to all but wrap up the Division 4-6A championship.

Warren Central (7-6, 1-1 Division 4-6A) has been shut out in three of its last four games. It only had five hits — all singles — on Tuesday and only one of its six runners reached third base. Peterson, Clinton’s pitcher, retired 17 of the last 19 batters she faced.

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“We were hitting pretty well at the beginning of this season, but the last two games we have not hit. If you can’t hit, you can’t win,” Warren Central coach Dana McGivney said. “I think we’ve just got to get back in the groove and we’ll be OK. You just would have liked to have had a better showing, especially tonight.”

The Lady Vikes might be OK in the long run, but Tuesday’s game effectively ended their chances of winning the division title. They will need to beat Clinton by at least nine runs when the teams play again at WC on April 5.

Clinton (5-7, 2-0) has beaten the Lady Vikes 17 consecutive times. Warren Central’s last win in the series was in 2009.

“Unless we 10-run rule them. Which, you never know,” McGivney said with a chuckle, when asked about the division title scenario. “Let’s just go out and win. It’s not about trying to 10-run rule them, it’s just about winning a game and getting respect back.”

Although they were struggling at the plate, the Lady Vikes were hanging in for a while on Tuesday. The game was scoreless into the bottom of the fourth inning, when Clinton finally broke the ice.

Two singles and a walk set the stage for McKinley, who lifted a fly ball deep over the center field fence for a three-run home run. The Lady Arrows tacked on two more runs in that inning, and three more in the bottom of the sixth.

Peterson’s two-run homer in the sixth was the big blow, and Rachel Darnell also had an RBI single. Katelyn Hayman had two hits and scored twice.

McGivney said the Lady Arrows’ explosion, however, was compounded by her team’s offensive struggles.

“Any time somebody hits a three-run homer, that’s going to be big,” McGivney said. “We still shouldn’t have been out of it then. It’s just a matter if you don’t score any runs, you’re not going to win any ballgame. It’s more of what we need to do instead of who we’re playing.”

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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