By Austin Bishop
The Winston County Journal
There is no easy route to winning a state championship. That’s something the defending MHSAA Class 1A Fast-Pitch State Champion Lady Warriors of Nanih Waiya High School know very well.
The Lady Warriors took part in the Clarkdale Spring Fling Tournament in Meridian last week in order to face plenty of tough competition before region play begins and continued that trend this week.
Nanih Waiya was set to host West Lauderdale on Tuesday and Union on Saturday, before taking a few days off before opening region play at home against Noxapater on March 31.
The Lady Warriors went into Tuesday’s game with West Lauderdale with a 7-3 overall record, after winning one of four games in the Spring Fling and then taking a 14-4 win over Sebastopol on Monday night.
Nanih Waiya played two games last Thursday falling to host Clarkdale 5-4 and Corinth 1-0 before beating Quitman 9-1 on Friday morning, then dropping a 3-2 decision to Bibb (Ala.) County on Friday afternoon.
The Lady Warriors scored three runs in the top of the sixth inning to tie the game with Clarkdale 3-3 and then scored a single run in the seventh, only to give up two in the bottom of the inning to take the tough loss.
Reagan Holdiness lined a solo homer over the right field fence to lead NW at the plate, while Hope Thames smashed a key RBI double and Marlee Parks, Mackenzie Johnson, Krysten Eaves and Brantlie Sheets had a single each. Sheets struck out five batters in 6.2 innings of work in the circle for NW, while giving up just one walk and allowing only two earned runs.
Corinth only had two hits in the game against Nanih Waiya, but managed to score the game’s only run in the fourth inning. Ryan Holdiness was strong on the mound for Nanih Waiya, striking out eight and not allowing an earned run. Johnson had two singles for the Lady Warriors in the game, while Thames laced a double.
The Nanih Waiya bats woke up against Quitman, as the Lady Warriors banged out 11 hits on the way to the solid win.
Ryan Holdiness belted a homer, a double, two singles and drove in five runs to lead the Lady Warriors at the plate. She also scored four times. Reagan Holdiness ripped a homer as well for NW, while Sheets had three singles and Parkes, Eaves and Allayna Lovorn picked up a hit each.
Ryan Holdiness went all six innings in the circle, allowing just four hits and two walks, while striking out eight to pick up the win.
Friday’s nightcap saw the Lady Warriors suffer their third one-run loss of the tournament, as Bibb County scored single runs in the first, second and fifth innings to take the 3-2 win.
Parkes had two singles and drove in a pair of runs to lead NW’s five-hit attack, while Livia Bush popped a double and Ryan Holdiness and Reagan Holdiness had a single each. Sheets allowed just five hits and two walks, while striking out four in six innings of work.
On Monday the Lady Warriors scored six runs in the fifth and six more in the sixth to take the14-4 win over Sebastopol by the run-rule.
Sheets had three singles for the Lady Warriors, while Ryan Holdiness hit a homer and Parkes, Johnson and Lovorn banged out a double each. Eaves and Ryan Holdiness had two hits each, while Thames added a single. Johnson drove in three runs for the winners, with Parkes and Lovorn picking up two RBIs each.
Sheets tossed a two-hitter for the winners, while walking just one and striking out three and giving up just two earned runs.