By Austin Bishop
The Winston County Journal
The Lady Warriors showed what they were made of last Saturday when they rallied from one game down to win their MHSAA Class 1A State Slow-Pitch Softball Playoffs series with homestanding Bogue Chitto two games to one, earning a spot in the South State Championship Series.
That series was set to be played at Nanih Waiya beginning at 4 p.m. on Tuesday with Stringer being the opponent. The winner of the South State match-up will advance to the MHSAA Class 1A State Championship Series at Freedom Ridge Park in Ridgeland on Saturday.
Bogue Chitto took an 11-1 win over Nanih Waiya in the opener on Saturday behind a five-run fourth inning and a four-run fifth. But Nanih Waiya battled back to take the second game 14-12 and then sealed a spot in the South State Championship with an 8-4 win in game three.
The Lady Warriors showed they could put up some big innings in the second game against Bogue Chitto, picking up three runs in the fourth — two of which came on a homer by Krysten Eaves — three more in the fifth and five in the sixth. Eaves mashed a two-run single in the fifth inning, while Mackenzie Johnson had an RBI triple in the sixth inning, and Katylyn Burrage, Hope Thames and Eaves all delivered RBI singles.
Nanih Waiya fell behind 3-0 in the third game, but Johnson knocked in Ashlie Thames and Allayna Lovorn with a double in the bottom of the third inning to cut the Bogue Chitto lead to 3-2.
After the Lady Bobcats stretched their lead back out to 4-2 in the top of the fourth, Nanih Waiya responded with four runs, all coming on a grand slam by Hope Thames to put the winners up 6-4. The Lady Warriors added a pair of runs in the fifth inning thanks to an RBI double by Johnson and an RBI single by Brantlie Sheets.
The Lady Warriors had little trouble dispatching French Camp Academy in the first round of the playoffs last Tuesday.
Nanih Waiya won the first game 10-0 behind a trio of doubles off the bat of Eaves. Chelsea Smith also had a two-run double and an RBI single in the game for the winners, while Hope Thames had a pair of doubles and Sheets and Ryan Holdiness each doubled and singled. Reagan Holdiness and Burrage each had RBI singles for NW, while Johnson doubled.
The second game saw Ryan Holdiness drive in five runs with a pair of over-the fence blasts, and Burrage deliver a two-run inside-the-park homer to push the Lady Warriors past FCA 11-1. Regan Holdiness had a double and three singles for NW, while Johnson ripped a triple and two singles.