Lady Vikes win big in playoff tune-up

Published 9:15 am Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Warren Central tuned up for the playoffs with a soprano-level high note.

Sarah Cameron Fancher hit an RBI triple, Madison Spencer reached base twice and scored two runs, and the Lady Vikes headed into the MHSAA Class 6A softball playoffs with an 11-1 victory over Ridgeland on Tuesday.

Warren Central (15-11) had nine hits in the five-inning, run-rule shortened game, and scored in every inning. Nearly every player on the roster played.

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“That’s one of the things we’ve been lacking the most, is hitting, and hopefully it’ll be here when we need it on Thursday,” Warren Central coach Dana McGivney said.

Abby Morgan pitched the first inning and struck out the side, giving her 152 strikeouts for the season. Madison Pant pitched the last four innings and had four strikeouts.

Morgan’s strikeout total — which she’ll certainly add to when the playoffs begin Thursday — is believed to be the second-most in school history, behind the 217 Lauren Cochran (formerly Anderson) had in 2002. Morgan received a game ball for reaching the milestone.

“When you have somebody who steps up and does something like that, you want them to get a little bit of recognition,” McGivney said. “It’s a team sport, but at the same time when you have individuals who are doing things that haven’t been done you want to recognize them.”

The celebration of Morgan’s achievement was one of many for the Lady Vikes. It was also Teacher Appreciation Night at Lucy Young Field, when every player invited their favorite teacher to attend the game. The teachers were recognized on the field before the game.

“That was awesome. I’m glad we did it. I don’t know why we never thought of it before,” McGivney said.

It was also the final regular-season home game for McGivney, who will leave at the end of the season to take over as the head coach at Oxford High School.

The Lady Vikes begin the playoffs Thursday at 5 p.m., with Game 1 of their first-round series against St. Martin. Game 2 is Saturday at 3 p.m. at St. Martin. If Game 3 is needed, it will be back at Warren Central Monday at 5 p.m.

McGivney is leaving Warren Central after a successful 16-year run at the school. Along with Lucy Young, she is one of only two coaches the program has had in its 24-year history. She noted that Tuesday was not her final home game at Warren Central, and said she’s putting the emotions of that moment aside until it is.

“It’s hard. But it’s probably going to hit me the most that last playoff game, whenever that is,” McGivney said. “Right now I think I’m thinking, ‘We’ve got one more.’ And as long as we have one more then it’s OK.”

MHSAA Class 6A softball playoffs
• Game 1 – Thursday, 5 p.m., at WC
• Game 2 – Saturday, 3 p.m., at St. Martin
• Game 3 – Monday, 5 p.m., at WC (if necessary)