By Curtis Rockwell, Sports Editor
The Picayune Item
Poplarville is moving on to the Class 4A South State finals.
The Lady Hornets swept the best-of-three semifinal series with North Pike, completing the affair with a 2-0 road win Monday night.
Poplarville is now an impressive 30-2, and will face off with either Newton County of West Lauderdale for the right to go to the state finals beginning on Saturday.
Rachel Hickman pitched a complete game one-hitter and struck out seven Monday night to wrap up play. Poplarville won game one Friday night 10-0. Hickman did not allow the Lady Jaguars a run in the series.
Branda Northrop scored the first run for the Lady Hornets Monday night on a double steal. Kaitlyn Clark drove in Maryah Davis with the other run, after Davis led off with a triple.
Poplarville head coach Jonathan Ray cited the play of his defense behind Hickman as a major key in Monday night's win.
In other prep softball playoff action of local interest, West Harrison swept Pascagoula to advance to the Class 5A South State finals, winning 9-2 and 4-0.
West Harrison Knocked Pearl River Central out of the playoffs while Pascagoula knocked Picayune out of the Playoffs.
In the first game, Ashlyn Raffeo had two hits and three hits for WHHS. Stephanie Necaise was the winning pitcher, striking out 11. West Harrison (20-14) will play East Central in the 5A South state finals, which starts Saturday.
In the second game, Kristen Sexton and Whitney SMith each had two hits and an RBI. Raffeo and Jackie Shows also had two hits.
West Harrison will meet East Central for the right to move on to the state finals. The Lady Hornets swept Games 2 and 3 from South Jones, winning 3-0 and 10-4 to reach the 5A South State finals for the second-straight year.
East Central is in the South State finals for the second straight season.