Choctaw Central’s Ahnaya Williams hauls in a catch in the outfield while second baseman Malaka Morris looks on in an earlier game vs. Wesson.
Choctaw Central’s Ahnaya Williams hauls in a catch in the outfield while second baseman Malaka Morris looks on in an earlier game vs. Wesson.
The Choctaw Central Lady Warriors won two games Monday to advance to the finals of the Mississippi High School Activities Association’s State Fast-pitch Softball Class 3A tournament.

The Lady Warriors faced Raleigh in the South State finals for the second year in the row. The Lady Lions won last year’s series, advancing to the finals where they lost to Houston. Raleigh won the first game7-6 which was played on their field Sunday afternoon. But Monday, the Lady Warriors came back to win two games, 6-5 and 6-0.

Choctaw Central, now 16-16, advances to the Class 3A championship series where they will play South Pontotoc. The Lady Cougars stands at 20-3-1 according to Max Preps. They beat defending state champion Houston I three close games (won 3-2 in eight innings, lost 3-0, and won 3-2 in eight innings).

This will be the first time since 2017 that Choctaw Central has made it to the finals of the Class 3A fast-pitch tournament. They lost in two games to Mooreville.

The state championship series will be played at Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. The first game is 4 p.m. Thursday. The second game will be played Friday while game three, if necessary, will be played Saturday. Weather could change the schedule.

Ten years ago, Mercedes Cotton was a player on the Lady Warriors roster. She was named the head coach last summer. Now in her first year, she has her team in the finals.

“It has been a long road since last June,” Cotton said. “We started working out back in June. A lot of hard work went into this season. Now it is paying off.”

When the Lady Warriors lost their first game to Raleigh, Coach Cotton said she knew they would come back.

“We had some errors and mistakes and cost ourselves that game,” Cotton said. “We fixed some things and won game two and then game three.”





Raleigh 7

Lady Warriors 6

The Lady Lions scored in the bottom of the eighth to slip past the Lady Warriors.

Choctaw Central scored one in the first, one in the third, two in the fourth and one in the fifth. Raleigh answered with three in the third and two in the fifth. The score was tied after seven innings and they went to the International tiebreaker. Choctaw Central scored one run in the top of the eighth and led 6-5. But then Raleigh scored two in the bottom of the eighth to take the win.

Neera Bell took the pitching loss.

Tia’Rain Saunders hit a home run. She had two hits, scored two runs and knocked one run. Leia Phillips hit two doubles. She scored two runs and knocked in another. Malaka Morris hit a double. Kodi Jimmie, Melanian Jimmie, Ahnaya Williams and Bell all hit a single.

 

Lady Warriors 6

Raleigh 5

The Lady Warriors scored on an error in the bottom of the seventh to take the victory in game two.

The game was scoreless until the fifth inning. Choctaw Central scored two in the fifth, three in the sixth and one in the seventh. Raleigh scored three in the fifth and two in the sixth.

Bell was the winning pitcher. She pitched in relief of Saunders who started the game.

Both teams had eight hits. Saunders hit a home run. Phillips hit a triple and Jada Bell hit a double. Melanian Jimmie had two hits and scored a run. Tyra Billy hit a single.

 

Lady Warriors 6

Raleigh 0

Choctaw Central wrapped up the series with a shutout victory.

The Lady Warriors scored one in the second, two in the third, one in the fourth and two in the sixth.

Saunders was the winning pitcher. Bell came on in relief.

Saunders hit her third home run of the series. Malaka Morris hit a home run and had three RBIs. Kodi Jimmie had two hits. Ahnaya Williams had a hit and scored a run. Tyra Billy knocked in a run.