By Myra Bean
Since Tupelo ended South Panola’s undefeated season on March 11, it seemed only fitting that the Lady Tigers return the favor Tuesday night.
In a very intense, competitive, district battle, the Lady Tiger fastpitch softball team defeated Tupelo 2-1 in seven innings. The big crowd on hand attested to the fact of how big a game this was.
The two teams are in the same district and vying for the title.
Lady Tiger head coach Ashleigh Hicks said she is very proud of the team.
“We beat an undefeated team last night,” Hicks said. “I thought we hit really well. First round is going to be tough but I think we are ready.”
South Panola can claim three heroes of the night starting with catcher Casi Brooks. Brooks went 3-for-3 at the plate with a single, double, triple and two RBIs (runs batted in).
Scoring from those hits was third baseman Haylei Plummer who went 1-for-3 at the plate but got on base on a single, a fielder’s choice and a walk. In the first inning, she scored on Brooks’ single from third base. The run was aided by two fielding errors on Tupelo’s part when they overthrew the bases.
In the bottom of the third, Plummer scored from first on Brooks’ triple to give the Lady Tigers the lead for good.
Tupelo had tied the game in the top of the second inning on an Alex Binge hit. The hit went right over the head of Lady Tiger center fielder Haley Hood and rolled to the fence. The throw to home plate was only an instant behind Binge as she crossed the plate.
South Panola’s (14-2) other hero was ace pitcher Whitney Kiihnl who pitched the complete game and got the win. She faced 23 batters and fanned 15. She allowed one hit, one run and one walk.
Katie Cole took the loss for Tupelo (14-1), pitching three and one third innings. She gave up two runs, six hits, and one walk, striking out four batters. Anna Wesleigh Riggs relieved her in the fourth and struck out two, allowed one hit and two walks.
Also hitting for the Lady Tigers were Kiihnl, Bethany Moore and Ellen Farrish, one single each.
The Lady Tigers will be on the road for the next three games. Thursday, they will travel to Columbus for the second district game in that series. The Lady Tigers defeated Columbus 11-0 on March 17. Then Saturday, they will play in the Southaven Tournament.
Thursday, April 3, they will go to Grenada to play the second part of the Strike Out For Cancer Event. Friday, April 4, the Lady Tigers will play Starkville in a district doubleheader. The first game between the two teams was rained out March 4. This is also the last home game of the regular season.