Lady Tide keeps playoff hopes alive; Picayune’s tennis team advances to state tournament

Published 7:00 am Thursday, April 12, 2018

PICAYUNE — Three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning helped the Lady Tide earn a come-from-behind 6-4 victory against the Lady Tigers of Hattiesburg Tuesday night.

With two district games left in the schedule, the win helps Picayune’s softball team stay in the running for a playoff spot with a 2-2 Region 7-5A record.

Facing a 4-3 deficit but with two runners on base in the bottom of the sixth, Picayune’s Cameron Carter scored the tying run via an RBI by Sarah Walker. Two batters later, a hit to center field by Kammy Chaisson permitted teammate Millie Stewart to make her way to home plate. The score by Stewart gave the Lady Tide a 5-4 lead, its first of the game. Moments later, Devin Frierson stepped to the plate and with the bases loaded, she batted the ball down the middle of the infield allowing Sarah Stockstill to score, extending the team’s lead 6-4.

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In the top of the seventh inning, Hattiesburg’s Donaldson Taneshia, Payton NaKyla and Barlow Essence were tagged out at first base, which brought the game to an end.

“A win, whether it is pretty or ugly, at the end, it’s still a win so we’ll take it,” Picayune Head Softball Coach Kristi Mitchell said. “We came out flat at the beginning of the game and that’s my fault. I have to do a better job of getting the team prepared for close games such as this one.”

For the Lady Tide, Chaisson batted 3-for-4 with two RBIs, Sarah Walker went 2-for-4 with an RBI and Stockstill was 1-for-2 with an RBI. Frierson and Rianna McNeely also had one RBI each. Morgan Dickerson pitched the entire game for the Lady Tide and finished with one strike out.

At the beginning of the game, Hattiesburg took a 4-0 lead in the top of the third inning.

In the bottom of the third, Walker took advantage of an error by Hattiesburg at first base and scored the team’s first run of the game. Afterwards, a hit to left field by Chaisson allowed Stockstill to score for Picayune and cut the team’s deficit 4-2. Kyra Hathorne went on to score one more run for the Lady Tide (4-16, 2-2 Region 7-5A) in the third inning after an RBI by McNeely. Picayune will host North Pike Thursday at Kristi Mitchell Field at 6:30 p.m.

“We are still in the playoff hunt and the next two games against North Pike and Pearl River Central will be big for us,” Mitchell said. 

—Picayune Tennis: Picayune’s tennis team defeated Hattiesburg in the district tournament and qualified for the Class 5A state tournament. Head Coach Chris Wise said Bryce Smith won 6-0, 6-0 in boys singles, Madeleine Leclercq won 6-0, 6-0 in the girls singles match, Logan Dorn and Cody Butler won 6-0, 6-0 in boys doubles and Sara Polson and Josh Broadway won 6-0, 6-1 in mixed doubles action.

Wise said the team will face West Jones High School in the first round of the state tournament.

—Picayune baseball: Picayune (9-11, 1-8 Region 7-5A) defeated county rival Pearl River Central 7-6 in eight innings Tuesday night. Maroon Tide’s Peyton Esslinger scored the winning run of the game after Jakail Myers batted a single into center field. Picayune will travel to Biloxi Saturday while the Blue Devils (17-6, 6-3 Region 7-5A) will travel to Hancock County for a doubleheader.

—Poplarville baseball: The Hornets defeated Sumrall 9-6 Tuesday night to keep its playoff hopes alive. Poplarville (9-11, 5-4 Region 7-4A) will play its last region game of the season Friday at home against Sumrall. The game is set to begin at 6:30 p.m.