By Austin Bishop
The Winston County Journal
The Lady Warriors of Nanih Waiya came up just three runs short of reaching the MHSAA Class 1A State Championship series, falling to Stringer 8-6 in the deciding third game of their South State Championship best-of-three series last Tuesday.
“We may not have made it to State, but when you look at just how much these girls have been through and how hard they have worked to turn their season into a success, it really is something to be proud of,” said Nanih Waiya head coach Courtnee Graham. “This group of girls is one of a kind and coach (Ashley) McArthur and myself have been so honored to get the chance to go out on the field with them every day. I felt like we could have gone all the way, but I still see this season as a real victory.”
Nanih Waiya cranked out eight homers on the day against Stringer and took a convincing 14-3 win over the visiting Lady Red Devils in the opening game.
Hope Thames blasted a pair of homers and a single to lead the Lady Warriors, while Krysten Eaves had two singles and a homer of her own. Thames and Eaves cranked out back-to-back homers in the second inning.
Chelsea Smith popped a three-run triple for Nanih Waiya in the third inning, while Reagan Holdiness delivered a two-run triple in the same inning. Brantlie Sheets and Ryan Holdiness each doubled in the second inning with Sheets driving in two runs and Holdiness one.
“We knew going in o the second game that Stringer would come back firing,” Graham said. “And that is exactly what they did. The Lady Warriors did a solid job of keeping up with them, but unfortunately, it wasn’t quite enough.”
Stringer won the second game 14-10, despite Thames and Mackenzie Johnson each blasting a homer and double for Nanih Waiya. Ryan Holdiness homered and singled for the Lady Warriors while Reagan Holdiness and Ashley Thames each doubled.
Eaves and Ashley Thames each homered for NW in the third game, while Marlee Parkes doubled and Johnson had an RBI single.
“Even though the series did not turn out the way we wanted, the Lady Warriors really showed out,” Graham said. “Any time there are 8 homeruns in a series, you have to know that the girls have been working hard.”