Lady Hornets two wins away

Published 5:58 am Thursday, October 15, 2009


Item Sports Editor

POPLARVILLE — For each of the past four seasons, Poplarville has advanced one step further in the Class 4A slow pitch state softball playoffs.

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On Saturday, the Lady Hornets can take the biggest step in the history of the program.

Poplarville captured the South State title with a sweep of Lawrence County on the road Tuesday night.The Lady Hornets will take on the North State champion in the best of three state finals series beginning at 11 a.m., Saturday at the V.A. Fields Complex in Jackson.

The North State title will be decided tonight when West Lauderdale meets Newton County.

Poplarville is ranked third in the state and stands 26-2 on the season.

Three seasons ago, the Lady Hornets traveled to Lawrence County and fell in the first round of the state playoffs.

Then, in 2007 Poplarville advanced to the second round before falling and last season the Lady Hornets fell in the South State finals.

Not this year.

“Each year, we have taken another step with this group that is now seniors,” Lady Hornets head coach Jonathan Ray said. “Each year our goal has always been to improve from the year before. They have been dedicated and worked hard to make that happen.”

Poplarville’s Janessa Dedeaux is one of those six seniors on this team.

“I think we are at our strongest point right now,” the second baseman said. “We are playing well but we all know we still have two wins to go to reach our goal.”

After the Lady Hornets won the first game against LCHS, it was Dedeaux in fact that cracked a two run double to get the Lady Hornets rolling in the second game.

After the Lady Cougars cut the deficit to to 5-3 in the top of the third, Poplarville took command with six runs in the bottom of the frame as Dedeaux, Rachel Breland, Ashton Rogers, Kayla Ross and Alysa Grater drove in runs. Ross and Branda Northrop then drove in runs in the fifth. “It was a total team effort,” Ray concluded.