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County rivals meet in softball matchup

The Poplarville Lady Hornets softball team took on the Picayune Lady Maroon Tide March 2 and won 11-1.

The win moved Poplarville to 2-3 on the season, with both victories coming against the Lady Maroon Tide.

It was a complete game from the Lady Hornets as they played well offensively and defensively.

Head Coach Jonathan Ray said that even with the three losses he likes his team’s progress during these early season games.

“I was very pleased. I think we scored runs every inning, which is always a goal offensively. Defensively we played solid, I like where we’re at,” Ray said.

Poplarville has played some tough teams and will continue to do so leading up to district play.

Ray intentionally had his players compete against talented opponents early in the season to prepare them for teams the Lady Hornets will face later this year.

“We’ve played a pretty tough schedule coming out the gate and we’ve competed for the most part. The goal is to be at the top of our game when we start district play next week,” Ray said.

The bats came alive against Picayune, but Ray said the team’s defense has been its calling card this season.

The team had zero errors against the Lady Maroon Tide and only has six total after five games.

Poplarville just isn’t making a lot of defensive mistakes fielding the ball and Ray said that’d need to continue.

“Defense has been very solid and I expected that this season because we have some really good athletes in the lineup. We work hard on fundamentals and I think the lack of errors show that,” Ray said.

The offensive showing against Picayune could be a sign Poplarville is turning the corner when it comes to bringing runners home.

There are plenty of talented pitchers the Lady Hornets will have to face this year and the team’s upcoming game will be another good test for Poplarville’s hitters.

The Lady Hornets will take on the Columbia Wildcats March 5 with the away game set to take place at 6:30 p.m.

Ray said he wants his athletes to be steady in the batter’s box, especially when facing a talented pitcher.

“We’ve got to get better at hitting (against) good pitching. Just getting more consistent up and down the lineup against good pitchers,” Ray said.

The matchup will be the Lady Hornets’ fourth away game already this season and the team has only played five times with Columbia being the sixth opponent.

Poplarville will need to be road warriors Thursday in order to earn a win and keep the momentum going heading into some weekend matchups. “I want us to just go on the road, play a clean game and have consistent approaches in the box. I just want to see us get off the bus and compete,” Ray said. Attempts to contact Picayune’s Head Coach Kristi Mitchell were unsuccessful by press time.