Lady Tigers’ bats heat up to advance in playoffs

Published 12:41 pm Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Lady Tigers’ bats heat up to advance in playoffs

The South Panola Lady Tiger team congratulates each other after the back-to-back wins at Northwest Rankin Saturday afternoon. After a loss Friday night, the Lady Tigers forced game 3 with a game 2 win and then pretty much shut Northwest Rankin down in the third game. The Panolian photo by Myra Bean

Khalena Hentz hit the ball and brought home a run in game 2 against Northwest Rankin Saturday.
The Panolian photo by Myra Bean

By Myra Bean
The South Panola Lady Tigers third baseman Morgan Parker and first baseman Ali Cummins turned a double play in bottom of the seventh to force a third and decisive game against the Northwest Rankin Lady Cougars in the play-in round of playoffs Saturday afternoon.
With the expected rain and thunderstorm on the horizon, the Lady Tigers earned a playoff berth against the Clinton Lady Arrows tonight on Lady Tiger Field at 5:30 p.m. The best of three series will conclude Thursday night at Clinton with game 2 at 5:30 and game three following, if necessary.
Game 3: SP 8, NWR 2
In between a break as the tornado siren went off and an hour-and-a half lightning delay, the Lady Tigers secured an 8-2 win in the third game of the play-in series.
In top of the seventh with one out and runners on first and second and South Panola leading 6-2, lightning struck the first time then five minutes later another strike which demanded a 25-minute delay. The weather system moved through, causing Northwest Rankin to cover the infield with the tarp. As the two-hour time limit to call the game approached, Northwest Rankin refused to have the game called and demanded the game continue.

Makayla Ales was a courtesy runner for the Lady Tigers.

At 6:15 p.m. the game continued and the Lady Tigers scored two more runs. Nautica Edwards singled to get on base and advanced on Mallory Myers’ single. Edwards advanced to third and scored on back-to-back passed balls.
Myers scored on Chloe Morgan’s single RBI.
The Lady Tigers were tough and focused in bottom of the seventh as it was three-up and three-down for Northwest Rankin to end the game. The outfield was soaked from the recent rain but Chloe Morgan secured the fly balls on the first and third outs while Sydney Morgan caught the short pop to second base for the second out.
The game was scoreless through the bottom of the third when the Lady Cougars got on base for the 1-0 lead.
South Panola went ahead 2-1 in top of the fourth. With bases loaded Khalena Hentz scored on Nautica Edwards’ walk. Hentz singled to get on base. Haven Dulin singled and scored on Mallory Myers’ fielders’ choice.
Tra’Meisha Toliver, courtesy runner for Ali Cummins, scored the one run in top of the fifth. Cummins singled to get on base. Toliver scored on a passed ball for the 3-2 lead.

South Panola’s Haven Dulin caught the ball to tag out Northwest Rankin’s Olivia Houston Friday night in a double play.
The Panolian photos by Myra Bean

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The Lady Tigers added three runs in top of the sixth. Myers and Chloe Morgan scored on Sydney Morgan’s two RBI double. Myers singled and Chloe walked to get on base. Khalena Hentz’s single RBI drove home Ali Cummins for the 6-2 lead.
Rebekah Cook pitched the complete game in seven innings for the win. She allowed seven hits and two earned runs, two hit batters and no walks.
Game 2: SP 9, NW Rankin 5
South Panola Lady Tigers staved off ending their season with a game 2 win over Northwest Rankin on the road. A four-run second inning gave the Lady Tigers a 5-2 lead which they refused to relinquish.
In top of the second, with bases loaded, Chloe Morgan slammed a double to left field. Madison Morgan, who had doubled to right, and Nautica Edwards who had walked, crossed home plate. Mallory Myers scored on Ali Cummins’ single RBI (run batted in) to left. Khalena Hentz’s ground out to shortstop drove home Chloe Morgan from second base.
The other four runs were scattered throughout the game. In the first inning, Sydney Morgan’s line drive to left field scored her sister, Chloe, who got on base on a fielder’s choice.
The Lady Tigers went ahead 6-3 in the top of the third when Morgan Parker scored on Chloe Morgan’s single RBI. South Panola stayed just ahead of the Lady Cougars in the fourth as they went ahead 7-3. Sydney Morgan singled and worked her way around the diamond on stolen bases and scored on a passed ball.
A couple of insurance runs sealed the deal for the Lady Tigers in top of the fifth. Myers walked and Chloe Morgan singled to left field for her third hit of the day. Myers scored on Cummins’ sac-fly to left and Chloe again scored on Sydney Morgan’s RBI single to center field for the final score of the game.
Kaitlyn Tidwell got the win, pitching the complete game in seven innings. She struck out two, allowed five hits and three walks.
NW Rankin 10, SP 6
The Lady Tigers lost the first game Friday night 10-6. Rain forced a delay though the weather was not as severe as expected. However, after the rain, the winds turned colder.
The coaching staff was a little stumped as to the lack of run production from hits from the Lady Tigers and errors led to a loss. The Lady Tigers had eight hits, four errors and left 10 on base. That meant that the series would have to go to the third game if the Lady Tigers wanted a chance.
Chloe Morgan, Alli Cummins and Sydney Morgan had two hits each. Haven Dulin, Khalena Hentz and Morgan Parker each recorded a single.
South Panola took a 2-0 lead in bottom of the first. Chloe Morgan’s double RBI to left drove home Mallory Myers who had walked to get on base. Chloe Morgan scored on Dulin’s sacrifice bunt.
Northwest Rankin scored its first run in top of the third and took a 3-2 lead in top of the fifth.
The Lady Cougars pounded out a seven-run seventh inning to make the situation all but impossible for the Lady Tigers to come back. That did not stop them from trying as South Panola pushed across four runs in bottom of the seventh, but Northwest locked the game up with back-to-back outs to end the game.
Tidwell got the start on the mound and pitched 5.1 innings and allowed five hits, three runs, one walk and hit one batter and took the loss. Cook pitched 1.2 innings in relief and allowed seven runs. She allowed five hits, hit one, allowed one walk and struck out one.