Lady Vikes score 24 runs, treat themselves to a big win over Vicksburg

Published 11:36 pm Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Each time one of Warren Central’s softball players gets a hit, first base coach Katie Jackson pulls a bag of gummy worms from her jacket pocket and gives the batter one as a reward.

Jackson handed out enough of the sugary treats Wednesday night to give everyone diabetes.

The Lady Vikes finished with 17 hits — including home runs by Adalyn Anderson and Madison Pant — and scored 23 unanswered runs after falling behind early to smash Vicksburg High 24-6.

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It was the first time Warren Central has scored more than 20 runs in a game since beating Riverside 22-0 on March 26, 2022.

“We knew we could hit the ball and score runs off of their pitchers. We just had to stay in our place and take what the pitchers were giving us. See the ball and hit the ball and we did a good job,” Warren Central head coach Brian Ellis said.

Vicksburg (3-14, 1-3 MHSAAA Region 2-6A) hasn’t beaten Warren Central (14-4, 2-1) since 2012, but it looked like this could be the Missy Gators’ night.

Jamia Grace, Camden McGloster, Makynzie Dunmore and Amari Johnson all hit RBI singles, and Vicksburg took advantage of some wildness by Pant in the pitcher’s circle to jump out to a 6-1 lead after two innings. Pant walked four batters in the first inning, including two with the bases loaded.

In the third inning, however, Warren Central started hitting the ball and never stopped.

Jenn Smith, Kamryn Morson and Tyra Bridges hit RBI singles during a five-run rally that tied the score at 6. Then, in the fourth inning, the Lady Vikes exploded for 13 runs to turn the game into a rout.

Warren Central had seven hits in the fourth inning, including a grand slam by Anderson that wasn’t. The senior hit the ball over the center field fence and was greeted by her teammates at home plate. One of them touched her before she touched the plate, which was called interference and Anderson was called out to end the inning.

All three runners that were on base scored to put WC ahead 19-6, but Anderson’s run did not count and, officially, her first varsity home run was ruled a triple.

“I was pretty upset about it, but I wasn’t going to let that take away from it,” Anderson said with a laugh.

Warren Central’s hit parade continued in the fifth inning. Mari Kynlea Ferguson hit an RBI single to crack the 20-run barrier, and later on Pant belted a three-run home run to make it 24-6.

The home run was Pant’s only hit of the game, but she finished with five RBIs. She also had seven strikeouts in five innings pitched. After her early struggles, she only allowed one hit in the last three innings and retired nine of the last 10 batters she faced.

Makayla Jackson was 3-for-4 with two RBIs and four runs scored, Jenn Smith was 2-for-5 with two RBIs and three runs scored, and Keke McKay was 2-for-3 with three RBIs and three runs scored.

Sarah Cameron Fancher also scored four runs — she was hit by a pitch three times — Bridges scored twice, and Ferguson had two hits and two RBIs.

Vicksburg committed seven errors and its pitchers walked six batters, but most of Warren Central’s damage was done by putting the bat on the ball.

“It’s a good feeling to keep hitting and know that you earned those runs,” Anderson said.

For Vicksburg, Harmony Harris, McGloster and Johnson had two hits apiece. Harris scored twice, while McGloster and Johnson each drove in one run and scored another.

“We had a lot of communication problems, and a lot of routine plays where we dropped the ball and it just went down. We had them in the beginning and just lost the momentum,” Missy Gators coach Briana Knox said. “Everybody just started getting inside of their head and forgot to play the ballgame and have fun.”

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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