By Curtis Rockwell, Sports Editor
The Associated press
Both the baseball team from Poplarville High as well as the fast-pitch softball team from Picayune High saw their seasons end in similar and excruciating fashion on Saturday.
Poplarville, which beat Columbia 3-2 on Friday night, traveled to Columbia on Saturday in the Class 4A South State quarterfinals and dropped back-to-back games to the Wildcats.
The Hornets led in both games, and a win in either would have secured the series for head coach J.J. Fortune's crew and kept their season alive.
But Columbia overcame deficits in both games, even a 7-2 Poplarville lead in the third and deciding contest, to move on and end the campaign for Poplarville.
Columbia trailed in game two 4-0, before rallying to win 7-6. After trailing by that five run deficit in game three, the Wildcats scored eight straight runs over their final two at bats to claim a 10-7 win.
The Hornets end their season at 16-13.
In Saturday's first game, Zac Houston had a run scoring single as Poplarville took an early 4-0 lead. After Columbia rallied to take the lead, Houston also had a two run home run in the seventh that put the Hornets up 6-5 in the seventh.
But the Wildcats came back to pull out the win with two runs in the bottom of the seventh on two hits, a costly error and two walks. The second bases loaded walk brought Akeem Forbes in with the game-winning run.
In the last game, the Hornets jumped out to a 3-0 lead and then stretched it to 7-2, but again Columbia rallied and Forbes drove in the winning run in the sixth, as the Wildcats scored three times to break a 7-7 tie and take command.
Columbia, which is now 21-6 and was ranked as high as fourth in the state at one point this season, moves on to play West Lauderdale this week.
Meanwhile, after beating Pascagoula soundly Friday night 10-2 on the road, Picayune seemed in complete control returning home and just needing one win to wrap up its Class 5A South State quarterfinal series Saturday.
But Jennifer Tillman pitched a pair of complete games with 13 strikeouts and no walks as Pascagoula beat Picayune 3-0 and 5-0 to end the season for the Lady Tide.
Picayune's season ends at 14-12. The Lady Panthers are 17-14 and will play West Harrison this week.