Area teams face key region games
Wednesday, October 2, 2013 1:00 AM
Philadelphia High School and Choctaw Central have both enjoyed winning slow-pitch seasons so far.
But the next couple of weeks will decide who goes to the playoffs and who does in the tough Region 5-3A standings.
Only two teams can go to the slow-pitch playoffs and the Lady Tornadoes have stayed home the last couple of seasons while Choctaw Central and Southeast Lauderdale advanced. The two teams met in the South State finals and Southeast Lauderdale went on to win the Class 3A state championship.
All three teams have picked up two wins over Velma Jackson. Last Thursday, Philadelphia beat Southeast Lauderdale 11-9 in a first game of the region puzzle.
Choctaw Central stands at 19-2. Weather permitting, they were to play Southeast Lauderdale on Monday and Philadelphia on Tuesday. Then on Thursday, Philadelphia will host Southeast Lauderdale.
"Three things can happen to us this week," Lady Tornadoes Coach Austin McNair said. "We can win the region; we make the playoffs; or we can be eliminated from the playoffs."
Local records at start of the week:
Choctaw Central 19-2
Neshoba Central 17-1
* Leake Academy 26-8
* Leake Academy is playing fast-pitch, season over.
Canton High School at Neshoba Central
Philadelphia at Choctaw Central
Neshoba Central at Leake Central
Southeast Lauderdale at Philadelphia
Madison Central at Neshoba Central
Kosciusko at Choctaw Central
Clarkdale at Neshoba Central, Noon and 1 p.m.
West Lauderdale at Neshoba Central, 5 and 6 p.m.
The Lady Warriors played one game last week as they defeated Louisville 7-3.
Choctaw Central scored one in the first, one in the fifth and five in the seventh. Louisville scored two in the first and one in the seventh. Hannah Hickman hit two home runs while Jonica Thomas added two singles.
The Lady Tornadoes opened Region 5-3A play with an 11-9 victory at Southeast Lauderdale last Thursday.
"Anytime you win on the road at Southeast Lauderdale, it's a big win," McNair said.
Philadelphia scored two in the third, one in the fourth, two in the fifth and six in the seventh. Southeast Lauderdale scored one in the first, four in the third, one in the fifth and three in the seventh. Alyssa Davis led the Lady Tornadoes with a two-run homer. Precious Sanders hit a pair of doubles while Kembresha Griffin and Autumn Davis both hit two singles. T'Kambry Jordan hit a double and Kabella Fulton hit a single.
Earlier in the week, the Lady Tornadoes took a 15-2 win over Kosciusko. Philadelphia scored four in the first, five in the second, two in the third, two in the fourth and two in the sixth. The Lady Whippets scored one in the third and one in the fourth. Griffin hit a three-run homer and a double while Davis added three triples. Marsha Hunt hit a double and two singles, while Sydney Battle and Autumn Davis both had two hits.
Philadelphia played two games in Saturday's West Lauderdale tournament which was delayed a week because of rain.
First, they lost a 12-2 decision to West Lauderdale. Sanders had two hits.
Then they lost 11-7 to Clinton. Alyssa Davis went 3-for-4 while Jada White went 3-for-3 and Griffin hit a double.
The Lady Rockets blasted Ridgeland 23-1 Thursday to pick up another region victory. Their game with Canton was postponed due to rain and was to be played on Monday.
Neshoba Central then played two games in the rain-delayed West Lauderdale tournament, beating the Lady Knights 14-6 and Meridian 22-6.
Hailey Lunderman had an outstanding week for the Lady Rockets, hitting four singles, two doubles, a triple and a home run.
"We are starting to take our time at the plate and wait for the right pitch," Neshoba Central Coach Trae Embry said. "We are coming along. We are playing different people in different situations and getting more players involved in the game. We all know where we want to be when this is over."
The season still has another week before it is completed. Neshoba Central is in the same region with Madison Central, Ridgeland and Canton. They appear to be on their way to opening the state playoffs as region champs.
"We take them one game at a time," Embry said. "New Hope is out there. If things go right, we'll get them in the second round of the playoffs. We can take nothing for granted."
The Lady Rockets got all of their players in their win over Ridgeland as they pounded out 23 runs and 21 hits. Lunderman hit a single, a double and a triple; Kayla Willis added a double and a single; Hannah Williams and Jenna Pigg both hit two singles; and, Madalyn McMahon and Maggie Peebles both hit a double.
Neshoba Central was tested in its game with West Lauderdale. The Lady Rockets scored four in the first, one in the second, one in the third, two in the fourth, five in the fifth and one in the seventh. The Lady Knights answered with one in the first, one in the third and four in the fourth.
Lunderman went 4-for-5, hitting two singles and two doubles and scoring two runs. Katlyn Duke belted two singles and brought in two runs. Peebles had three hits while McMahon added two singles.
The Lady Rockets then took batting practice against Meridian High School as they pounded out 22 runs and 26 hits.
Lunderman hit a home run and a single while Kayla Robertson hit a double; Mallory Tucker went 3-for-3 with two RBIs; Duke had two singles; Williams, Kayla McKinion and Meg Martin all hit a double and a single; Mashay Jimmie hit two singles; Peebles had two singles and three RBIs; and, Kayla Willis hit a single.