Choctaw Central’s Jada Sockey uses her strength to make contact with the ball during the championship game.
Choctaw Central’s Jada Sockey uses her strength to make contact with the ball during the championship game.
RIDGELAND - The Choctaw Central Lady Warriors are no strangers to playing for and winning state championships in basketball.

But Saturday, Choctaw Central collected its first state championship in girls slow-pitch softball. They swept Nettleton 14-4 and 12-3 to add the state class 3A first place trophy to their collection. The Lady Warriors concluded with a 30-6 season.

"We finally put one in the trophy case," Lady Warriors Coach Aaron Terrell said. "We have come close the last couple of years and now we have done it.

"I'm really proud of this team and our girls. I thought we might have a chance when practice first started. But they have worked hard and have earned this championship."

This is Terrell's fifth season at Choctaw Central. His teams made it to South State finals for the past three seasons. And as in basketball, Southeast Lauderdale always seemed to be standing in their way. The Lady Tigers ended Choctaw Central's season in the last two season, but not this time. The Lady Warriors took a tough three game series to advance.

"They played us tough," Terrell said. "Against Nettleton, we scored early in both games and were able to take it in two games."

Choctaw Central jumped out to a 4-0 lead in game one. Lashayla McMillan and Jada Sockey both hit singles that drove in two runs.

Choctaw Central brought a big crowd to Freedom Ridge Park and they liked what they saw early. The Lady Warriors added five runs in the second inning to go up 9-0. McMillan hit a triple that drove in two runs and Sockey later brought in three runs.

Brooklyn Bell knocked in two runs in the fourth and Choctaw scored three runs in the fifth. Tiara Joe brought in two runs and Tia Amos brought in one run with a sacrifice fly.

Choctaw Central outhit Nettleton 13-7 and Joe was the winning pitcher. Sockey went 4-for-5; McMillan hit a triple and a single; Hannah Hickman hit two doubles and was intentionally walked twice; and, Amos, Bell, Joe and Jonica Thomas all hit singles.

Game two was more of the same. This time, Choctaw Central scored 10 runs in the first inning. The Lady Warriors led off with three singles in a row. Then Raina King knocked in a run. Candace Jefferson hit a double to drive in two runs. Sockey singled in two runs while Bell and Thomas knocked in one run each to make the score 7-0.

Joe walked and then Hickman singled in a run. McMillan hit a sacrifice fly to bring in a run and King singled in the final run of the inning. Nettleton would score two runs in the first and one in the second to trail 10-3.

The Lady Warriors scored one in the fifth when King knocked in a run. And the final run came in the seventh when Thomas brought in a run with a single.

The Lady Warriors had a 17-8 hitting edge and Joe was again the winning pitcher.

"This championship says a lot for our girls," Terrell said. "We've worked hard and it paid off."