Lady Tornadoes battle Lady Warriors for playoff spot
Wednesday, October 3, 2012 1:00 AM
The season will be on the line for Philadelphia and Choctaw Central this week in prep slow-pitch softball action.
The two teams are slated to play two Region 5-3A games as the season winds down. The Lady Tornadoes will host the Tuesday game at Burnside Park while Choctaw Central will host the Thursday game, starting at 6 p.m.
Southeast Lauderdale has wrapped up the Region 5-3A championship. Choctaw Central and Philadelphia are playing for second place and a trip to the state playoffs. Choctaw Central stands at 3-1 in the region standings thanks to an 8-7 win over Southeast Lauderdale last week. The Lady Warriors have to win one game to take second place. Philadelphia stands at 2-2 in the region after being swept by Southeast Lauderdale, and must win both games to qualify.
"Our backs are definitely against the wall," said Philadelphia coach Austin McNair. "We just have to go out there and take care of business."
Neshoba Central, meanwhile, has wrapped up the Region 2-5A championship. The Lady Rockets close out the season with three games this week. They host Northeast Lauderdale Tuesday, visit Newton County on Thursday, and then close out the season at home on Saturday against Clarkdale.
The Lady Warriors went 1-1 last week but picked up a big 8-7 win over Southeast Lauderdale.
Choctaw Central scored three in the second, two in the fourth and two in the sixth to lead 7-6 going into the top of the seventh. Southeast Lauderdale, which scored two in the third and four in the fifth, tied the game with one run in the top of the seventh, 7-7.
In the bottom of the seventh with two outs, Jada Sockey knocked in the winning run.
The Lady Warriors held an 18-11 hitting edge. Sockey hit two doubles while Betty Mingo added three singles and Jonica Thomas added a double and a single.
Later in the week, the Lady Warriors dropped a 6-1 decision to Neshoba Central.
The Lady Warriors scored their run in the fourth inning. Choctaw Central finished with seven hits. Candance Jefferson and Ashley Thames both had two hits for the Lady Warriors.
Choctaw Central stands at 16-8.
"The Southeast win was a big one for us," said Choctaw Central coach Aaron Terrell. "If we can get one win over Philadelphia, we are in the playoffs. That's has been our goal for this year."
The Lady Tornadoes dropped a pair of games last week, falling 10-0 to Southeast Lauderdale and 8-4 to Neshoba Central.
The Lady Tornadoes entered the week with a 13-7 record.
The Lady Tigers outhit Philadelphia 13-3. Alyssa Davis, Tatanya Fox and Jada White all had a hit for the Lady Tornadoes.
Philadelphia finished with 11 hits against Neshoba Central. Davis hit a double and two singles while Precious Sanders and Kenyatta Moore both had two hits.
"We have kind of run into a slump in the last couple of week," McNair said. "We know what we have to do this week."
The Lady Rockets wrapped up a perfect region record last week as they blasted Starkville 18-1. They then went on to beat local rivals Philadelphia 8-4 and Choctaw Central 6-1.
The state playoffs start Oct. 9 but Neshoba Central gets a first round bye.
"We are playing well," coach Trae Embry said. "We will get a first round bye in the playoffs but I promise you we won't be rusty. We'll be swinging the bats every day.
"We made some errors in our last two games. I guess we were getting a little tired because we have been playing three or four games a week all through September. But before we start thinking about the playoffs, we have three big games this week. We'll take them one at a time."
The Lady Rockets enter the week with an 18-3 record.
Neshoba Central pounded out 18 hits in its win over Starkville. Kayla Roberson, Ali Pike and Meshay Jimmie all had three hits while Miranda Crenshaw and Jessica Hennington each added two.
The Lady Rockets had 11 hits against Philadelphia but also committed four errors. Haley Lunderman, Roberson and Kayla Willis all had two hits.
Neshoba Central closed out the week with a win over Choctaw Central. Neshoba Central had 10 hits. Lunderman went 3-for-3 to lead the Lady Rockets.