Lady Warriors ‘earn’ playoff win over Sebastopol

By Austin Bishop
The Winston County Journal

If things truly are better when you know you’ve earned them, then the
Nanih Waiya fast-pitch softball team had a pretty good day on Saturday.
It took seven hours to complete, but the Lady Warriors won two-of-
three games that were completed on that day to take a hard-fought
series win over Sebastopol in the MHSAA Class 1A State Fast-PItch
Softball Playoffs.
“That was the hardest series we have ever played,” said Nanih Waiya
head coach Jennifer Holdiness. “I can’t imagine any other series
being any tougher than that. They (Sebastopol) just kept hitting the
ball and we had to battle back all day.”
The long day began with Nanih Waiya coming from behind to take a 10-7
nine-inning win over the Lady Bobcats in a game that began in
Sebastopol on Thursday, but was suspended due to rain and had to be
completed on Saturday before game two could begin.
Sebastopol then came out and clubbed its way to a resounding 12-4 win
in game two, setting up the deciding game three, which didn’t wrap up
until nearly 11 p.m.
The Lady Warriors then won the deciding game 7-4 to advance to the
next round of the playoffs against the winner of Tuesday’s deciding
playoff game between Bogue Chitto and Stringer. The first game of
Nanih Waiya’s next series will be played on Saturday, with the second
game to be played on Monday. If a third game is needed it would be
played on Monday as well. Site and times of the games were to be
decided after Nanih Waiya’s opponent was determined.
“They were the best hitting team we have faced all year,” Holdiness
aid of Sebastopol.
While hitting was the key in the game, it was a heads up play by
Nanih Waiya catcher Kara Lane Nowell in the first game Saturday that
saved the day for the Lady Warriors.
It looked as if Sebastopol had won game one when they got a bloop hit
in the bottom of the eighth inning to plate the apparent go ahead run.
“They were celebrating and I was about to go out and talk to our
girls and get them ready for the next game,” Holdiness said. “But she
(Nowell) saw that the girl had missed home plate. The umpire had
never made a safe call. She said the girl missed home and he called
her out. That gave us another chance.”
The Lady Warriors took advantage of it, scoring seven runs in the top
of the ninth inning to break the 3-3 tie, then holding on to post the
10-7 win.
Nanih Waiya had a whopping 19 hits in the game, including a four-hit
performance by Marlee Parkes and a three-hit, three-RBI game from
Ryan Holdiness. Brantlie Sheets and Mackenzie Johnson also had three
hits each, while Nowell and Regan Holdiness had two each. Kaytlyn
Burrage and Bridget Hunt also each had a single for the winners,
while Ryan Holdiness took the win on the mound.
Sebastopol cut loose for 15 hits in the second game to take a 12-4
win. Nanih Waiya had just six hits in the game, with Megan Robinson
picking up a single and a double and Regan Holdiness adding two
singles. Ryan Holdiness and Nowell also each singled for NW.
Nanih Waiya scored four times in the bottom of the fifth inning to
take a 6-4 lead and then held on for the 7-4 win in the deciding game
three.
Sheets smacked a double and two singles to lead NW’s eight-hit
attack, while Nowell and Parkes had two hits each and Reagan
Holdiness added one. Sheets also had three RBIs in the game, while
Bridget Hunt had two and Nowell one.
Ryan Holdiness was the winning pitcher.