SP Fastpitch

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 1, 2012

SP fastpitch advances to second round
Lady Tigers and Southaven set for rematch Friday

By Angie Ledbetter

The South Panola Lady Tiger’s fastpitch softball team (20-8) advanced to the second round of  playoffs against Southaven after winning the series against Northwest Rankin this weekend.

South Panola will host the first game Friday night at 5:30 p.m. The series will conclude in Southaven with game 2 and if necessary, game 3 starting at noon.

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 Against Northwest Rankin Friday, South Panola lost 4-3.

According to head coach Ashleigh Hicks the team did not show any emotions on Friday.

“They were kind of flat and I don’t know if it was the ride getting there or what but I told them at the end of the game they had two options. They could either bow up and beat them at our place or either lie down and let them take it. They did exactly what they should’ve done today.”

Saturday the Lady Tigers were on their home field and swept the Lady Cougars 8-2 in the second game and shut them out 9-0 in the third game to advance to the quarterfinals Friday.

Nicole Fullilove pitched all three games for the Lady Tigers. She allowed five runs, one earned run, 14 hits and six walks. Fullilove fanned 16 batters in the series.

“Fullilove was tremendous with the two wins,” said Hicks. “We’ve tried to make sure she stayed in shape for this reason when you had to play two playoff games in one day. She was throwing just as hard in the last inning of the second game as she was in the first in my opinion.”

Errors cost the Lady Tigers the first game. They were up 2-0 until top of the third when they made four errors. The Lady Cougars got on base off of a hit by pitch, an error on second base twice and by way of fielders choice.

Scoring runs in the first game was Christa Brown and Marla Rudd.

Getting a single was Brown and Fullilove who also had two RBIs (runs batted in).

In the first game on Saturday the Lady Tigers had 13 hits, seven earned runs, four errors and left 13 on base.

Amanda Ivy led at the plate with two hits, triple and a single and two RBIs. Other hitters include Meri Morgan Fortune, three singles, two RBIs; Rudd, two singles, two RBIs, one run; Dickins, double, single, one RBI, two runs; Brown, single, RBI, one run; Lindsey Calvert, single, RBI; Contreras, RBI, two runs; and Lauren Calvert, two runs.

Northwest Rankin had seven hits, one unearned run, left eight on base and committed one error.

The Lady Tigers finished the series shutting out Northwest Rankin in the last game with 11 hits, nine earned runs, one error and left six on base.

Fullilove and Ivy led at the plate each with a pair of doubles. Ivy also had two runs while Fullilove had two RBIs.

Rudd followed with a double, two RBIs and two runs.

Also hitting for the Lady Tigers were Brown, one single, two runs; Fortune, one single, one RBI; Dickins, one single, two runs, one RBI; and Lindsey Calvert, one run, one RBI.

Northwest Rankin had five hits and left seven on base with no errors.

The team was on point Saturday, according to Hicks.

“At this point there’s not much more you can teach them,” she said. “They have to execute it now. I told them it was in their hands because I couldn’t bat for them or play defense.”

Hicks praised the defense.

“We’re known for pitching and defense. In the first game, we had whatever you want to call it in the first inning and then it seemed like it just snapped like we’ve got to do this.”

Southaven defeated Warren Central 5-4 in both games to advance.

In regular season action, South Panola and Southaven split games. South Panola won 5-0 at Southaven and the Southaven won 2-1 at South Panola.

“We’re very capable of taking this to the next round if we play ball,” Hicks said.