Game 2 of Vicksburg-Ridgeland playoff series suspended until Monday

Published 5:15 pm Saturday, April 29, 2023

RIDGELAND — A little rain fell into the lives of Vicksburg High’s softball team this weekend, both figuratively and literally.

The Missy Gators gave up seven runs in the seventh inning Friday night to lose 13-12 in Game 1 of their MHSAA Class 5A playoff series against Ridgeland.

Then, on Saturday, they were leading 4-0 in the third inning when Game 2 was suspended by rain. The teams will pick up where they left off at 6 p.m. Monday at Ridgeland, with Game 3 back at Vicksburg on Tuesday at 6 p.m. if necessary.

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Fans who had tickets for Game 2 can use their stubs for re-entry.

“I think you want to get through it. They have one pitcher and I have three, so you think about some things like that,” Vicksburg coach Brian Ellis said of the rainout. “But at the same time, our deal is we just have to take care of business. If we take care of business, we’re fine. It doesn’t really matter when we play. They came over here focused today and not tight. They’re having fun right now and it’s showing on the scoreboard right now.”

Vicksburg outhit Ridgeland 15-5 in Game 1 on Friday. It took a seemingly-comfortable 11-6 lead into the seventh inning and even got the first two batters out before melting down.

Pitcher Jordan Grace walked five consecutive batters on only 23 pitches, and then Alevia Little hit a two-run single to cut it to 11-10. Another walk was followed by RBI singles from Ka’Myia Fultz and Kennedy Brooks to put the Lady Titans ahead 13-11.

Lili Kistler hit an RBI single for Vicksburg in the bottom of the seventh to cut it to 13-12, but they couldn’t get the tying run home.

Lexi Kistler finished 4-for-5 with a home run and five RBIs for Vicksburg in Game 1. Harmony Harris was also 4-for-5, with two doubles, one RBI and three runs scored.

Kaitlyn Hill was 2-for-3 with a home run, triple, three RBIs and three runs scored for Ridgeland (18-7).

“Yesterday we started well and played well the whole time, and then we just didn’t finish it. We outhit them 15-5 (Friday) night. We had five errors,” Ellis said. “We’re not making any excuses. We’re just coming out and playing. They’re focused and playing hard, they’re up in the dugout. They’re focused in.”

The Missy Gators (9-13) appeared to have shrugged off the finish to Game 1 when they got back on the field Saturday.

Harris hit an RBI single and scored on a sacrifice fly to stake them to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Then, in the third, Trinity McGloster hit a two-out pop up just behind second base that was misplayed and fell in for an error. Harris and Lexi Kistler both scored to make it 4-0.

“One thing we have to do better is, let’s not leave anybody on base. We did that last night and we did it the first couple of innings today. We’ve got a chance to really blow it out here,” Ellis said.

A light rain began falling at the start of the game, but it wasn’t enough to stop play until the third inning. The rain got heavier and a few rumbles of thunder were heard while Vicksburg was batting in the top of the third.

In the bottom half, Missy Gators’ pitcher Lili Kistler was having trouble with a wet softball. She struck out the first batter, then threw seven balls in a span of eight pitches before umpires halted play and suspended the game.

When play resumes Monday, Ridgeland will have a runner on first base, one out, and a 3-1 count on Fultz.

“Once it starts getting like that, to where the ball is wet, it’s impossible to play,” Ellis said.

MHSAA Class 5A softball playoffs, second round
• Game 1 – Ridgeland 13, Vicksburg 12
• Game 2 – Vicksburg 4, Ridgeland 0; game suspended in the bottom of the third inning by rain and will resume Monday at 6 p.m. at Ridgeland
• Game 3 – Tuesday, 6 p.m., at Vicksburg (if necessary)

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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