Lady Warriors off to quick start as defending 1A Champions

By Austin Bishop
The Winston County Journal

First-year Nanih Waiya fast-pitch head coach Ron Swart doesn’t want his team to get satisfied and become complacent as they look to repeat as MHSAA Class 1A State Champions in 2014.

But he says that’s not something he really doesn’t have to worry about too much because of the deep competitive nature of his lady Warriors

“We have four girls who play travel ball and they go all over the place and are used to winning,” he said. “They want to win because it has become fun to them and the other girls have caught on to that.”

Repeating a championship is not an easy chore.

“You have to stay focused and you have to keep working hard,” Swart said. “You can’t just walk out there and win, you have to want it.”

Nanih Waiya, whose only senior is University of Central Arkansas signee Ryan Holdiness, has jumped out to a 5-0 start heading into four tough games set for Thursday and Friday of this week in the Clarkdale Spring Fling Tournament that will be held at Northeast Park in Meridian.

“They have a lot of good teams coming in so it should be a great challenge,” Swart said.

Last week’s action saw Nanih Waiya take a 13-2 win over Union on Tuesday, before beating Choctaw Central 5-2 and Pisgah 6-1 in the Sebastopol Tournament on Saturday.

Sophomore Marlee Parkes blasted two triples and a single and scored three runs for NW in the win over Union, while Ryan Holdiness unloaded a double and a single. Mackenzie Johnson, Brantlie Sheets and Reagan Holdiness had a single each for the winners, Sheets picked up the win on the mound, striking out nine hitters in just three innings of work.

Sisters Ryan and Reagan Holdiness ripped back-to-back homers in the third inning to spark Nanih Waiya to the 5-0 win over Choctaw Central. Johnson added a single to the NW attack, while Ryan Holdiness allowed just two hits and struck out seven to earn the win in the circle.

Nanih Waiya scored two runs in the first inning and four in the second in the win over Pisgah. Johnson smoked a triple and single, scored two runs and drove in another one for the winners, while Ashley Thames and Sheets each doubled and Ryan Holdiness had a single. Sheets was the winning pitcher, striking out seven without a walk and allowing just three hits and one unearned run.

“We have two really good pitchers and that will take you a long way,” Swart said.

LOUISVILLE

The Lady Wildcats were scheduled to play Kosciusko and Noxapater last week. No results were reported from either game.

After taking the spring break off LHS is set to visit Starkville on March 17 and play host to Kosciusko on March 18 to begin a four-game home stand that includes contests against Choctaw Central, Nettelton and South Pontotoc.

To report scores and results, Louisville coaches or scorekeepers can call Austin Bishop at 601-938-2471 anytime before 10 a.m. on Tuesday, or by e-mailing the information at BrotherA4him@hotmail.com.

NOXAPATER

The Lady Tigers of Noxapater were set to play Louisville last Thursday before facing Winona and East Webster in the East Webster Tournament on Saturday. No results were reported on any of the games.

Next up for Noxapater are home games against East Webster on March 18 and Ethel on March 21. The Lady Tigers will then face Leake Central twice and Sebastopol once in the Sebastopol Tournament on March 22.

To report scores and results, Noxapater coaches or scorekeepers can call Austin Bishop at 601-938-2471 anytime before 10 a.m. on Tuesday, or by e-mailing the information at BrotherA4him@hotmail.com.

EC softball sweeps MC

East Central Community College’s fast-pitch softball team cruised to a pair of victories over rival Meridian Community College in MACJC South Division action March 5 at MCC.

A seven-run sixth inning led to a 12-3 victory in the first contest, and Haley Stephen’s two home runs helped provide a 13-0 shutout in the nightcap.

In the first contest, several EC players were credited with multiple hits.

Other hitters were Lindsey Beard of Clarkdale, double and two RBIs; Kaylin Hopkins of Louisville, single and RBI; and Mallory Turner of W. Lauderdale, single. Anna Katherine Nowell of Leake credited with an RBI.

Also scoring runs were Beard (2), Hopkins, Morgan Porter (2) of Enterprise and Amber McBroom of Brandon.

Kendra Wilson picked up the win. She allowed three runs on four hits over 3 2/3 innings. She also fanned five batters and walked five. Wilson is a product of South Lamar (Ala.) High School.

In the nightcap, EC jumped out to an early 7-0 lead and coasted to victory after five innings.

Stephens’s home runs came in the fourth and fifth innings. She also singled, scored three runs and collected three RBIs.

Beard also homered in the fifth inning. She was also credited with two singles and was the top run producer with four RBIs. She also scored three runs.

Other sluggers were Turner, double and two singles; Buckley, two doubles and three RBIs; Porter, double; Holsonback, two singles and RBI; and McBroom, single.

Also scoring runs were Turner (3), Porter (2) and Buckley (2).

Makayla Kelly picked up the win. She allowed just four hits and fanned a batter in the five-inning shutout. Kelly is a product of Nederland (Texas) High School.

The Lady Diamond Warriors continue division play by hosting MS Gulf Coast Community College Friday, March 7. Doubleheader action begins at 2 p.m. on the Decatur campus.

EC’s softball program is led by head coach Kristin Chaney, assistant Courtney Nunn and volunteer assistant Kasie Buckley.