Vicksburg and Warren Central both fall in slow-pitch softball postseason

Published 7:27 pm Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Warren Central had plenty of scoring opportunities, but not a lot of scoring, Tuesday in its second-round MHSAA Class III slow-pitch softball playoff series against Meridian.

The Lady Vikes left a total of 14 runners on base, hit into three double plays, made 10 errors in the field, and were swept by Meridian in the best-of-three series at Lucy Young Field. Meridian won the first game 9-3, and the second 10-1, to advance to the quarterfinals against Brookhaven.

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“We made lots of errors and didn’t hit in either game,” Warren Central coach Dana McGivney said. “When we had chances, we couldn’t score runs. We might hit it hard, but we hit it right at them. We hit it right at them all night long. Sometimes you’ve got to change something. You’ve got to knock it in front of them, do something different, and we didn’t. They hit and we didn’t.”

Jaliyah Davis hit a grand slam in the fourth inning of Game 1 to give Meridian a 5-0 lead, and the Wildcats never looked back. After being held scoreless through the first three innings of Game 1 they scored in nine of the last 10 innings in the series, including all six at-bats of Game 2 when they were the home team.

Davis homered again in Game 2, as did Au’Zyunna Lewis. Meridian did not score more than two runs in any inning of Game 2.

“I looked up and told the dugout that that’s what you want to do, right there. Every inning you want to put runs on the board, and that’s what they did,” McGivney said.

Kaylee Hoeft, Laura Reagan Logue and Brooke Comans had two hits apiece for Warren Central in Game 1. Hoeft hit an RBI double in the fifth inning.

Logue drove in the Lady Vikes’ only run in Game 2 with a sacrifice fly in the top of the first inning.

Warren Central finished the season with an appropriately average record of 10-12. It won the Class III, Region 6 championship but never more than three games in a row at any point. It received a first-round bye in the playoffs because Region 7 didn’t field enough teams to fill the bracket, and then bowed out in its first actual playoff series.

McGivney said the finish was obviously disappointing, but that there were lessons to learn from it heading into the spring fast-pitch season.

“It was good in that we won our division. That’s always one of our big goals. It’s bad that we get put out the first time that we play,” McGivney said. “But I think it was a learning season. We were playing with a lot of younger kids. I’m not going to make excuses. We didn’t execute. When we lose, it’s because we did things to lose. It’s not because other teams beat us. We’ve got to make that better.”

Wayne County 13, Vicksburg 3

Wayne County 21, Vicksburg 0

Vicksburg High earned a tough draw in the Class III playoffs and was swept decisively by perennial state power Wayne County (24-6) in a second-round series on Tuesday.

Wayne County won both games via the 10-run mercy rule. It scored six runs in the fourth inning of Game 1 en route to a 13-3 victory, then steamrolled the Missy Gators 21-0 in Game 2.

Wayne County, which reached the Class III championship series last season, advanced to the quarterfinals to play North Pike.

“It was not a good night at all,” Vicksburg coach Brian Ellis said. “We didn’t show up and they did. That’s the best team we’ve played and it’s understandable why they are the defending South State champs.”

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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