Defending Class 3A South State champion Southeast Lauderdale advanced back to that state semifinal round Saturday and the Tigers will have a familiar foe waiting for them.
Southeast swept host Franklin County 10-7, 10-0 in the second round on Saturday to advance to Tuesday’s South State title showdown with Choctaw Central, which defeated Morton on Saturday. Last season, the Tigers won a thrilling three-game series with the Warriors, their fellow Division 5-3A rival.
To reach their second straight South State title series, the Tigers were led in Game 1 by Timara Trussell, who went 3-4 at the plate. Brianna Roulier also went 2-3 at the plate for Southeast.
In Game 2 it was Trussell again, as she was joined by Denisha Knight and Nancy Williams with multiple hits for the Tigers. Taylor Powell picked up both wins for Southeast and moved to 21-8 on the season.
Southeast will travel to Choctaw Central on Tuesday with a berth to Jackson and the state championship series on the line.
— Tony Tsoukalas
Defending Class 2A state champion Enterprise is back in the South State championship series for the seventh time in eight seasons. The Bulldogs will host East Webster, which they defeated for the fast-pitch state title two seasons ago, on Tuesday for a trip back to Jackson.
In advancing past Saturday’s second round, the Bulldogs (17-11) got three hits from Harley Smith in Game 1, while Hayleigh Harper, Kaleigh Russell, Katie Jo Riley and Ashley McGowan all added two hits. McGowan delivered a two-out, pinch-hit double to drive in three runs for Enterprise. The Bulldogs had 16 hits.
Enterprise again banged out 16 hits in Game 2 as Brittany Haguewood and Jess Turner each had three. Harper added a home run to go along with three intentional walks. Smith earned the win in both games as the Bulldogs improved to 14-3 in their past 17 games.
“We started out really slow,” first-year Enterprise coach Davey Dewitt said. “But we had a midseason turnaround and I don’t want to say we’re necessarily peaking, but if we are, it’s happening at the right time.
“And we’re a young team but still most of these girls have played in big games before and they know what to do.”
— Jamie Wachter