Lady Tide nips Lady Hornets
Published 9:30 pm Wednesday, October 1, 2008
By CURTIS ROCKWELL
Item Sports Editor
Katie Kent delivered a big blow for Picayune Tuesday night before a big crowd.
Kent’s drive to left field in the bottom of the seventh plated the game winning run, as the homestanding Lady Tide beat rival Poplarville 4-3 in prep slow pitch softball action.
The win, which was the first by Picayune in three years over Poplarville in slow pitch action, leaves both the Lady Hornets and Lady Tide tied atop the Region 8-4A standings with 5-1 marks.
Poplarville, however, wins the league title due to a run differential, thanks to an 8-1 win over the Lady Tide two weeks ago.
Both teams move on to the Class 4A South State playoffs beginning on Tuesday, as Poplarville will host Northeast Lauderdale while Picayune will travel to highly ranked Quitman.
Picayune, ranked eighth in the state, is 15-3 overall while seventh ranked Poplarville is 14-4 overall.
“It’s a big win for our program and a big step for the girls on this team because we have been rebuilding over the past few years,” Picayune head coach Kristie Mitchell said. “We are a team and the girls played like that tonight. They did whatever we asked of them.”
Kent broke a 3-3 tie with her shot to left to pull out the win.
The teams were scoreless through the first five frames as Picayune’s Sara Dodd and Poplarville’s Allysa Grater hooked up in a rare pitcher’s duel.
The Lady Hornets broke through with a pair of runs in the sixth, thanks to five straight hits as Chelsea Theriot had a run scoring double and Kayla Fendalson an RBI-single.
The Lady Tide battled back to take the lead 3-2 with a trio of runs in the bottom of the frame, as Tiffany Reed smacked a two run double off the centerfield fence and Taylor Seals delivered an RBI-single to left.
Grater tied the game in the top of the seventh with an RBI-sacrifice fly, setting the stage for the climactic ending.
“They wanted it more than we did, that was obvious because they played with much more energy tonight,” Poplarville head coach Jonathan Ray, whose team secured its second consecutive league crown, said. “We have to use this a a learning experience and get better before next week.”