NC Lady Rockets advance in state playoffs with 30-1 record
Wednesday, October 23, 2013 1:00 AM
The Neshoba Central Lady Rockets entered the week with a 30-1 record and their ticket punched for a berth in Tuesday's Class 5A-6A North State Slow-pitch Softball championship series.
Neshoba Central Lady Rocket Hailey Lunderman throws out a runner during the New Hope game on Saturday
The Lady Rockets were to be on the road against Clinton. The winners advance to the State 5A-6A finals Saturday at Freedom Ridge Park in Ridgeland.
The Lady Rockets started their quest for a second state championship in a row last Tuesday when they swept Warren Central 10-0 and 6-0. On Saturday, they swept New Hope 12-1 and 14-4. Clinton, meanwhile, defeated Columbus 7-3, 3-2 on Saturday to advance to the North half finals.
Neshoba Central is certainly looking for a repeat and they may face Wayne County again for the state championship. The Lady War Eagles were playing Harrison Central for the South State 5A-6A championship. But on Sunday night, Lady Rockets coach Trae Embry was not looking ahead.
"We started this season with one goal in mind," Coach Embry said. "We want to win the state championship. But to get there, we have to take them one game at a time.
"We are thinking about Clinton right now. They have an outstanding team, and getting past them is what we are concentrating one," Embry said. "We'll see what happens."
The Lady Rockets may have put together a 30-win season and are perhaps on their way to another state championship. But each week, Embry has said this team has room to grow.
"We have had a great season," Embry said. "The girls come to practice every day and have worked very hard.
"We have played great defense and have had great pitching. I would like for us to be a little more consistent at the plate. Against New Hope, we were very patient at the plate. We waited for the right pitch. That's what we are looking for," Embry said.
Neshoba Central 10, 6
Warren Central 0, 0
The Lady Rockets had a 14-2 hitting edge in their first win over Warren Central. Neshoba Central scored one in the first, two in the third, three in the fourth and four in the fifth.
Hailey Lunderman hit two singles and knocked in two runs while Katlyn Duke added a double and a single. Maggie Peebles hit a triple and a single; Meshay Jimmie had two singles; Madalyn McMahon hit a double; and, Mallory Tucker had two singles.
In game two, the Lady Rockets scored all of their runs in the sixth inning and had a 6-5 hitting advantage.
Williams and Duke both hit a double while Tucker, Jimmie and Tucker all hit a single. Tucker was the winning pitcher for both games.
Neshoba Central 12, 14
New Hope 1, 4
The Lady Rockets traveled to New Hope Saturday and once again knocked the power house Lady Trojans out of the playoffs.
Neshoba Central outhit New Hope 14-3 in game one. The Lady Rockets scored six in the second, four in the third and two in the fourth. New Hope's only run came in the third inning.
For both games, Katlyn Duke was intentionally walked eight times, including once with bases loaded. She would score four runs in both games.
Lunderman finished with two singles; Hannah Williams hit two doubles; Maggie Peebles had two singles and a double; Kaila Willis, Meshay Jimmie, Mallory Tucker, and Jenna Pigg all had two hits, and Kayla Robertson hit a single and brought in two runs.
Game two was close for a couple of innings. Neshoba Central scored one in the first, one in the second, six in the third, three in the fourth and four in the fifth.
New Hope answered with two in the second, one in the third and one in the fifth. Neshoba Central had a 12-4 hitting edge.
Kaila Willis hit a home run, a single and a brought in three RBIs; Kayla Robertson belted two triples while Hannah Williams hit two doubles. Hailey Lunderman hit a double and a single; and, Meshay Jimmie went 3-for-3 with three RBIs.