The Meridian Star
Consider Southeast Lauderdale third baseman Nancy Williams back.
After battling a early slump to the season, Williams led Southeast to an 11-8 win over rival Northeast Lauderdale, going two-for-two with a grand slam and five runs batted in Tuesday night at Northeast Lauderdale High School Field.
“It just felt really good to be able to contribute for my team,” Williams said. “I have been in a slump the last few weeks, and I was moved down in the lineup. That really fired me up, because I'm used to hitting in the No. 3 spot, and I want to get back up there. But, the real good thing was being able to contribute for my team.”
Williams' grand slam capped off a five-run top of the third, as the Tigers took a commanding 7-1 lead over the Trojans.
Southeast would stretch its lead to 10-3 after five innings before Northeast's bats began to heat up. Down 11-5 in the bottom of the seventh, the Trojans provided a scare, capitalizing on three Southeast errors to cut the lead to 11-8 and load the bases for Xay Cole with two outs. Cole however, would not come through, popping up to third to end the game.
“I just told them they had to calm down,” Southeast assistant coach Ashlee Bailey said of her visit to the circle in the seventh inning. “I told them we have two outs, and just make a play. I really just went out there to calm them down and tell them they could get the outs, and they did.”
Williams was one of five Tigers to collect multiple hits on the night, as Dori Timms led Southeast with three hits, while Claire Miller, Lauren Yeager and Timara Trussell each had two hits apiece. The Tigers 1-5 hitters went a combined 11-for-18 at the plate with nine RBIs on the night.
“We have really been struggling with our bats lately, and today we just came out here and started off hitting,” Bailey said. “Hitting is so contagious. If you get a couple hits in a row, it turns into five or six hits in a row.”
After tallying extra base hits in her first two at bats, Williams was intentionally walked her next two times at the plate.
“To me it's frustrating,” Williams said. “I do not like it. I know it is respect, they don't want me to hit, but it's just frustrating not being able to contribute.
Bailey, who moved Williams to the No. 5 spot in the lineup recently said she will consider moving her power-hitting third baseman up in the lineup if opposing pitchers continue to pitch around her in the future.
Northeast was lead by first baseman Brittany Baty, who went three-for-three at the plate including a two-run home run in the bottom of the third inning. Cole, Zy Harris and Kennedy Cumming also collected multiple hits for the Trojans.
Southeast (2-3) will host West Lauderdale on Thursday, while Northeast (1-3) travels to East Union on Saturday. The Tigers were without head coach Mac Fanning for the game, as he was hospitalized yesterday due to low blood level. Fanning has been dealing with blood clots in both his legs and is expected to be released from the hospital today.
“The girls know the situation, and when he's not here they really want to call him and tell him that they did well,” Bailey said. “That's always a little extra incentive for us.”