Meridian Star

Sports

May 2, 2014

West softball wins series vs. Corinth

COLLINSVILLE — After taking an early 5-1 lead, the West Lauderdale High School softball team watched as Corinth High School crawled its way back to tie the game.

But instead of letting the Lady Warriors maintain the momentum, West added two more runs to its cause and held on to win, 7-5, Thursday in the MHSAA Class 3A playoffs.

The Lady Knights’ win was fresh off the heels of their 13-9 victory against Corinth Wednesday, allowing them to advance to the second round of postseason play. Head coach Cary Luke said he was proud of his players’ ability not to let Corinth’s comeback bid get them down.

“I thought we battled the whole day,” Luke said. “We jumped out early, held them down early and took a lead and kept the momentum on our side. Give them some credit — when we made a couple of mistakes, they battled back, scored some runs and tied it. But we didn’t stay down, we came back and scored two.”

Starter Breanna Sharp went the distance for West, giving up just two earned runs in seven innings of work. She yielded six hits and fanned out one in the final at-bat of the game.

“Breanna’s going to give us a chance to win, because she’s going to throw strikes,” Luke said. “If we make just a couple or routine plays, they don’t score but two runs in the whole run. I told her, ‘Just give us a chance.’”

Sharp said her plan was to throw low and outside, according to Luke’s instructions.

“That’s not what I’m normally good at, but Coach told us they don’t like them low that much,” Sharp explained.

West jumped to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first when a single by Ana Gilbert plated two and a groundout by Abbe Bates scored Maggie Wooldridge.

In the top of the second, Corinth cut the lead to 3-1 when Rebekah Williams came home from third after West catcher Alexa Hogan tried to gun down a Lady Warriors runner at second base on a steal. Williams, who reached on an error, advanced on the throw.

But West made it 5-1 in the bottom of the second when Mallory Thompson hit a two-run double. That was it for Corinth starter McKenzie Patterson, who lasted just 1 2/3 innings, giving up five runs, four earned, on five hits and one walk. Colby Cox came in relief of Thompson.

Corinth made it 5-2 West in the top of the fourth when Anna Kayte Webb came in on a sacrifice fly Allie Jacobs. But the Lady Warriors’ big inning was the top of the fifth. After two runners reached on back-to-back errors, Jamia Kirk laced a two-run triple to make it 5-4. Kirk tied the game after scoring on a sacrifice fly by Cox.

“I was just trying to pick everyone up and tell them we still got it,” Sharp said of pitching around errors. “I try not to (let it frustrate me), but sometimes it does.”

But Corinth’s lead would be short-lived. With two outs, West scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth, the first coming on an RBI single by Jamie Cantey that sent home Bates. Cantey scored the other run when Wooldridge got caught in a rundown between first and second. Cantey touched home plate before Corinth tagged Wooldridge out.

The win put West at 15-9 on the season. Their next game will be determined by the outcome of the Lafayette High School-Itawamba High School series.

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