Lady Hornets sweep opener

Published 5:58 am Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Item Sports Editor

POPLARVILLE — There was no place like home for Poplarville Tuesday night.

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The Lady Hornets dispatched visiting Northeast Lauderdale 15-5 and 10-6 in the best of three opening round Class 4A South State slow pitch softball series.

The wins push fourth ranked Poplarville to 22-1 on the year, and more importantly into the South State semifinals on Saturday. The Lady Hornets will carry a 20 game winning streak into Saturday’s action on the road at either North Pike or Florence.

Poplarville took advantage of some NEL miscues and used some aggressive base running in the opening game, erasing an early 3-0 deficit and eventually ending the game early with the 10 run rule in the sixth inning.

“Everybody works really hard, and we are proud of what we’ve accomplished but we know we have a lot left to play for,” Poplarville standout pitcher and hitter Allysa Graeter said. “I take pride in my hitting and I really push myself like we all do. And when I’m pitching I do a lot of mental preparation and I always know that my teammates have my back.”

Graeter came into the game hitting over .700 on the season. And after the two pitching wins Tuesday she is a perfect 21-0 on the mound.

In the opener, Poplarville tied the game at 3-3 in the second as Micah Davis, Chelsea Barrett and Branda Northrup all drove in runs.

The Lady Hornets took the lead for good in the fourth with three more runs, as Kelly Ladner had an RBI and Paige Miller slapped a two run double.

The on-slaught continued in the fourth, as Davis and Miller each had two run doubles, Kayla Ross scored a run, Ladner had an RBI and Ashton Rogers had an RBI to make it 13-5. Poplarville finished the game off in the sixth as Miranda Fazande hit a two run triple to wrap up the win.

In the nightcap, the teams traded blows early before Poplarville broke open a 2-2 tie with two runs in the third and four more in the fourth.

Ladner drove in a run early and Miller scored a run as well. Then in the third, Davis had an RBI and Janessa Dedeaux scored on a throwing error.

In the fourth, Graeter had a two run double, while Ross and Kayla Fendalson drove in runs as well and then Ross and Graeter added RBI’s in the sixth to secure the win.

“That’s always a key, to capitalize on any chances they give you and we did that,” Poplarville head coach Jonathan Ray said. “We knew they wouldn’t lay down after the first game, so we had to make sure we kept the pressure on them in the second game.”