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From Staff Reports
The Greene County High School softball team could not have been much hotter to start region play this week. The Lady Wildcats were the winners of three in a row heading into their region opener at Sumrall on Tuesday, including two wins by a combined 31-0 margin.
Those bats stayed hot as GCHS erupted for 12 hits, including three home runs, to cruise to an 11-2 win over the previously unbeaten Lady Bobcats. They also got a solid outing from sophomore pitcher Taylor Brewer, who scattered five hits, struck out five and walked just two in seven innings.
“I was very pleased with Taylor and the job she did for us tonight,” GCHS Head Coach Tyler Barham said after the game. “We put the ball in her hands and she did a very good job mixing up her pitches keeping a lineup that had scored over 10 runs in all but one of their games this year. She got really solid help from her defense too.
“We swung the bats really well too and that is big considering we were without one of our top players.”
The Lady Cats were without standout junior shortstop CharLee Meadows who was leading the team in multiple statistical areas, including batting average (.706), hits (12), doubles (3) and RBIs (11). Meadows was held out of the game as a precautionary move due to a potential injury and it is unclear when she will return to the lineup.
“We had players move around defensively and in the batting order and I am very happy with the way they all responded,” Barham said. “Unfortunately, being without key players is something our girls have had to learn how to deal with during this pandemic. It was one of those ‘next man up’ type of situations and we had players rise to the occasion.”
Count sophomore Breeze Jordan among that group. Jordan had filled in behind the plate last week with the absence of senior catcher Tiana Caver and performed very well. Caver was back on Tuesday, but Barham stuck with Jordan behind the plate and moved Caber to shortstop in Meadows’ absence. Jordan responded by going 3-for-4 at the plate with a double and her first home run of the year.
GCHS scored early and often en route to the win. Senior Kat Garrett got things started with a 2-run first inning homer. The Lady Cats followed Garrett’s second bomb of the year with two more runs in the fourth, forcing a couple of errors by the Lady Bobcats and taking advantage with runs by seventh grader Kambrie Lawrence and freshman Baleigh Keys.
The Lady Cats blew open the game with five more runs in the fifth. Senior Hannah started the big inning with a single to left field and scored moments later on Caver’s second homer of the season, at 2-run shot to left field. A walk, a bunt single and Jordan’s double loaded the bases. Lawrence scored on a walk and Keys and eighth grader Erin Meadows scored on pitches that got past the Sumrall catcher to push the GCHS lead to 9-0.
A 2-run homer by Sumrall got them on the board in the bottom of the fifth, but GCHS got those runs back in the top of the seventh on Jordan’s homer and another passed-ball run by Erin Meadows.
“I was really proud of Tiana, Kat, and Breeze and their at bats hitting home runs,” Barham added. “Kat set the tone with the home run in the first and we were able to continue to add as the game progressed.”
“Erin Meadows and Katie Helton both helped at the tail end of the lineup providing base hits and laying down bunts that put their defense in stressful situations.”
With the win, GCHS improved to 5-1 overall, but more importantly, got off to a 1-0 start in region play. The Lady Cats will be back in action on Thursday at home against Wayne County. They will travel to Petal on Monday and host Citronelle on Tuesday, before getting back into region play on Thursday at Poplarville.
GCHS gains momentum with big non-region wins
Coach Tyler Barham’s team hit the road to Sumrall Tuesday at 4-1 and fresh off wins over Citronelle (19-0), Wayne County (7-6) and Gautier (12-0) in a 4-day span. On Thursday, the Lady Cats whipped Citronelle on the road with six runs in the first inning, eight in the second and five more in the third. Seventh grader Zamiah Knight, eighth grader Erin Meadows and junior CharLee Meadows led the way with three RBI’s each. Two of Knight’s RBIs came on her first career homer in the third inning. CharLee Meadows, who also had three runs scored, drove in her runs with a triple and a double, while Erin Meadows earned hers on two singles.
Seniors Kat Garrett and Hannah Hillman each posted two RBIs. Garrett, who also homered in the game, led the team with four runs scored. Kambrie Lawrence, another up-and-coming seventh grader, also had a big night with two hits, three runs scored and a RBI.
Hillman and junior CharLeigh Stewart combined for the no-hit win in the circle, striking out four and walking none along the way.
Things were a lot tighter on Friday at Wayne County, but the Lady Cats got the big hits when they needed them to seal the victory. The biggest of those hits came in the top of the seventh inning on a 3-run inside-the-park home run by CharLee Meadows to give GCHS the lead. Meadows led her team with three hits and three RBI in the game.
The Lady Cats led early in the game, but were outhit by Wayne County 12-to-8 in the back-and-forth affair. GCHS trailed by a run going into the final frame and took a 7-5 lead on Meadows’ big hit. Wayne County closed the gap in the bottom of the seventh after a lead-off double, but a big throw from center fielder Breeze Jordan got out number two at third base and Meadows made a nice play on a ground ball to shortstop for the final out.
Sophomore Taylor Brewer earned the win, going seven full innings for GCHS. She struck out four and allowed four earned runs along the way.
On Monday, GCHS traveled to Pearl River Community College for a matchup with Gautier for their final warm-up before beginning region play. They avoided another nail-biter with 10 runs in the opening inning against the Lady Gators and cruised to a 12-0 win in three innings. CharLee Meadows was 2-for-3 at the plate with a double and three RBIs to lead her team. Jordan and Erin Meadows were 2-for-2 at the plate with two runs scored. Meadows, who tripled and scored in the second inning, had two RBIs, while Jordan and Taylor Brewer each drove in a run in the win.
CharLeigh Stewart earned the win in the circle for the Lady Cats, striking out five and allowing no hits through three innings. Brewer worked an inning of relief and got strikeouts for all three outs.