Lady Rockets fall short to South Panola

Lady Rockets fall short to South Panola


The Neshoba Central Lady Rockets softball team faced a challenging weekend in the 6-A North State Championship series against the South Panola Lady Tigers, falling short in both games.

This series marked the 11th consecutive year that the Lady Rockets competed for the North State title.

In game one away on Thursday, the Lady Rockets were defeated 6-0, followed by a 5-3 loss in game two at home on Friday.

“We ran into some tough competition,” said Head Coach Zachary Sanders. “We were playing against South Panola’s pitcher who was named 6-A player of the year, plus they’ve got a lineup one through nine that can really hit.”

Sanders said that the Lady Rockets managed to scratch out a few base hits in the first game and improved in the second game but struggled to convert these hits into runs.

The Lady Rockets managed to score their only runs in the final inning of game two after playing a combined total of 14 innings against the Tigers.

Lanayah Henry started in game one for the Lady Rockets but faced difficulty against South Panola's hitters.

“She’s been good for us all year long,” Sanders said. 

In the second game, freshman Taysha Isaac took the mound, but the Lady Rockets couldn’t generate enough timely hits to secure a victory.

Sanders said his team struggled offensively with trying to secure key base hits against most of the tougher teams throughout the season.

“All year we were able to get hits, but not the two-out RBIs we needed to,” Sanders said. “If we could’ve figured out how to get some extra base hits, we would’ve been able to beat some of the better teams.”

“Once the playoffs started, I thought we were turning the page,” he added. “We were able to win in the second round against Saltillo who put us out the year before.”

Considering Saltillo was the 5-A State runner-up last year and South Panola's 6-A State runner-up position last year as well, the Lady Rockets anticipated a challenging path to the state title but ultimately fell short.

“We are blessed to have a lot of really good female athletes at Neshoba Central,” Sanders said. “Being able to put all that together as a team can sometimes be hard, but I think we got a good group coming back next year.”

Sanders aims to refocus next year's team, become stronger as a unit, and have a more aggressive hitting approach to generate extra-base hits.

“I hope our team will have the hunger to work hard and get us back where we want to be,” Sanders said.

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