Lady Hornets move on

Published 5:34 am Thursday, October 9, 2008


Item Sports Editor

POPLARVILLE — This one was for Erin.

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Or, make that these two were for Erin.

Poplarville opened the Class 4A South State slow pitch softball playoffs with a first round sweep of visiting Northeast Lauderdale, winning 8-6 and 6-4 Wednesday night at Pete Jackson Field.

The wins push the Lady Hornets to 16-4 overall on the year, but more importantly moves Poplarville into the South State semifinals against Lawrence County at home on Saturday.

Both wins came in exciting fashion, as the Lady Hornets broke a late deadlock in each game with two runs to pull out the wins.

The victories came one day after Poplarville lost senior starting outfielder Erin Cutrer to a foot injury.

“The girls discussed after (Tuesday’s rain-out) that they were going to dedicate these games to Erin,” Poplarville head coach Jonathan Ray said. “She was one of the team favorites, they would all tell you that. They wanted to do this for for her.”

Poplarville took a four run lead in each game, only to see the Lady Trojans bounce back each time and tie things up.

In game one, Poplarville led 5-1 before NEL rallied for a 6-5 lead in the fourth.

But the Lady Hornets tied the game up and then got run scoring hits from Janessa Dedeaux and Micah Davis to pull out the win.

Dedeaux, Megan Ladner and Kayla Fendalson each had two hits apiece in the first game to pace Poplarville, while Dedeaux drove in four runs as well.

Third baseman Chelsea Theriot made a pair of nice stops in the seventh to preserve the win, and Ladner made a nice scoop on one of the throws at first to record the out.

In game two, the Lady Hornets were up 4-0 going in the sixth, before the Lady Trojans rallied to tie the game up at 4-4.

Actually, it appeared NEL took a 5-4 lead on a two run homer, but the Lady Trojan that hit the shot was ruled out for passing the base runner in front of her.

Then, in the seventh, Ladner tripled in Allysa Grater for the go ahead run and Theriot drove in Ladner with a run scoring single to secure the series.

Ladner and Graeter had three hits each to lead the Lady Hornets in the nightcap, while Micah Davis, Fendalson and Theriot each added a pair of hits to the winning cause.

Again, in the last inning, the Lady Hornets came up big defensively as the Lady Trojans got their lead runner on but she was cut down on a 6-4-3 double play from Paige Miller to Dedeaux to Ladner.

“We showed some character in both games, especially our seniors,” Ray said, of Theriot, Ladner and Brandi Rester. “They got some big hits and made some big plays in the field when we had to have them.

“That’s what you have to have in the playoffs to advance, is good leadership by your seniors and upperclassmen.”

Graeter picked up the pitching wins in both games for the Lady Hornets.