By Ashley Crutcher
The South Panola fastpitch softball team mowed down the competition as they defeated Desoto Central again Thursday afternoon, in a 6-0 shutout. The Lady Tigers are moving into the second round of playoffs facing Clinton in game two tonight at home at 6 p.m.
Lady Tiger head coach Ashleigh Hicks attributed the Lady Tigers’ win to mental strength. The Lady Tigers portrayed this strength and their hunger for the championship in last Thursday’s game against Desoto Central.
The Lady Tigers dominated Desoto Central on defense, only allowing six runners to get on base in the seven inning game. The Lady Tigers chased flies to make catches and threw outs to first. None of the runners made it past second. Two Desoto runners attempted to steal second, but were tagged out by Mallory Myers on throws from the plate by Sydney Morgan.
Chloe Morgan lead the offense with a triple to right and scored on Myers’ single passed third. Ali Cummins’ single to right drove in Myers, giving the Lady Tigers a two run lead in the first inning.
As the Lady Tigers continued their three up three down defense their scoring continued as well. In the bottom of the second, Maci Kirkland and Amber Helmes made it to base after being hit by a pitch back to back. A single to left center by Chloe Morgan drove in Kirkland.
In the third, the Lady Tigers to refused Desoto Central a chance on base and went back on offense. Haley Reid tripled to left and scored on a single by Morgan Parker.
After two outs in the fourth, two singles allowed Desoto two runners on base. Just when Desoto thought they had a chance Parker raced to catch a foul for out three, leaving runners at first and second.
Two walks allowed Chloe Morgan and Caroline Dickins to make it on base. Cummins doubled to left center driving Morgan and Dickins across the plate.
The fifth inning was scoreless as the Lady Tigers played a three up three down defense. Rebekah Garner stepped in for Helmes and hit the fence at center field for a double. Garner was left on base as Desoto stepped up to hold the Lady Tigers to their six runs.
In the top of the sixth, Desoto managed to get two more runners on base, but were held at second as the Lady Tigers fought for the outs.
Desoto played a three up three down defense in the bottom of the sixth with three caught flies. The score was 6-0 in the final inning. Desoto had one more chance to score some runs and stay in the running.
The first Desoto batter bunted, Sydney Morgan pounced, scooping up the ball and shooting it to Cummins at first for the first out. The next Desoto batter got to first on a single and made the mistake of attempting to steal second. Sydney Morgan fired to second allowing Myers to make the tag.
In the final play of the game, the Desoto batter slammed the ball high to center, right where Chloe Morgan stood patiently waiting to make the catch and give her fellow Lady Tigers the victory. With that catch the Lady Tigers shut out Desoto Central 6-0.
Haley Reid lead at the plate going 3-for-3 with two singles and a triple. Other hitters include: Ali Cummins, 2-for-4, one single, one double, three RBI’s; Chloe Morgan, 2-for-4, one triple, one single, one walk, one RBI; Mallory Myers, 2-for-4, two singles and one RBI; Caroline Dickins, 1-for-4, one single, one walk; and Rebekah Garner, 1-for-1, with a double.
The Lady Tigers will continue in the second round of playoffs as they travel to Clinton tomorrow for game 2 and if necessary game 3 at 5:30 and 7 p.m.
By Ashley Crutcher