First round loss: Lady Tide will pick up run for state championship Friday in game two

Published 7:00 am Friday, May 12, 2017

RIDGELAND — The dazzling duel on the mound between Picayune’s Megan Dudenhefer and Neshoba Central’s Aspen Wesley was a toe-to-toe contest in game one of the 5A State Championship Thursday, both tallying numerous strikeouts and allowing only five hits between both opponents.
However, the difference in the game came in the top of the second inning when the Lady Rockets’ Madalyn Thompson hit a solo home run over left field to give the four-time state champions a 1-0 lead.
“Megan did a great job picking her spots and pitched a great game. We just have to make a few adjustments in the batter’s box to come out with a different result tomorrow,” Picayune Head Coach Kristi Mitchell said.
After Thompson’s home run, both teams had difficulty reaching the base, retiring batters through the fifth inning. But in the sixth, the first base hit since the home run sparked a Lady Rockets short rally as Tenly Grisham brought home teammate Kylee Thompson, who previously hit the fence for a double. The ensuing batter, Makenzie Barnett, then doubled before Tori Henderson popped a sacrifice fly in the infield to give her team a 3-0 cushion heading into the final inning.
With one out, Elizabeth Taggard, the only Lady Tide to get a base hit with two singles, hit a line drive to the third base, giving Picayune hope for possibly a seventh inning rally. Unfortunately, the Lady Tide could not connect on Lady Rockets pitches and fell 3-0 in game one.
Dudenhefer pitched one of her best games against Neshoba Central, allowing only three hits while walking none and pounding 10 strikeouts of which six came in the first two innings. Taggard had two singles to lead the Lady Tide at the plate.
Lady Rockets’ Wesley pitched a two-hitter in game one, framing nine strikeouts while conceding two hits and one walk.
“We got to wake up tomorrow and play the game. There is no reason why they can’t come out here and play. We know we can hit the ball, we know we can play defense and we know we can pitch with them,” Mitchell said.
Game two of the 5A State Championship will be played Friday at 4 p.m. at Freedom Ridge Park in Ridgeland.

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