Meridian Star

Sports

May 3, 2014

Choctaw Central takes 1-0 advantage in playoff series

PHILADELPHIA — Freshman pitcher Betty Mingo tossed seven strong innings, allowed just five hits, while striking out seven batters in lifting Choctaw Central High School past Franklin County High School, 6-1, in the third round of the Class 3A MHSAA playoffs Friday.

    The win gives the Lady Warriors (17-7) a 1-0 advantage in the best-of-three series, with Game 2 scheduled for today at 2 p.m. at Franklin.

    “It’s always great to win the first game,” Choctaw Central coach Aaron Terrell said. “Now we just have to go down there and win one.”

    As effective as Mingo was in the circle, she was just as lethal at the plate. Mingo finished 2-for-3, including an RBI double in the first, and a run-scoring single in the second.

    “I was able to identify the pitch out of (the pitcher’s) hand,” Mingo said. “I saw the release and was able to put a good swing on it.”

    Added Terrell, “She’s probably the strongest player that we have.”

    Despite the fact that Mingo is just a freshman, she was unfazed by the big stage of the playoffs, evidenced by her striking out three of the last four batters she faced.

    “I’ve played many years on varsity,” said Mingo, who has been a member of the varsity squad since seventh grade. “I’ve been out there before. I just was focusing on hitting my spots and continuing to work hard.”

    Added Terrell, “When she’s on, she’s really tough. She hits her spots well today. She’s played a lot of ball growing up. She’s been our ace for a long time now.

    “When she’s got it going, we’re a tough team to beat.”

    Mingo’s RBI double put the Lady Warriors out in front, 1-0, after the first. Then CCHS capitalized on three Franklin in the second, that led to a four-run inning. The frame was capped by Mingo’s RBI single.

    “We try to put pressure on the other team,” Terrell said. “We try to run the bases aggressively, and we but a lot.”

    The Lady Bulldogs (13-10) scored their only run of the game in the third when Shelly Case reached base with a walk, and promptly stole second base. She eventually trotted home following a Choctaw Central throwing error.

    The Lady Warriors tacked on an insurance run in the sixth when LaChrisha Williams roped an RBI single to left.   

    Despite the decisive victory, Terrell said his squad must show improvements at the plate if they are to come away with the series win.

    “I think we have to hit the ball a little bit better than what we did today,” Terrell said. “We only scored six runs. We pushed five across in the first two, then kind of coasted from there. We need to keep playing and keep hitting the ball.”

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