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By RUSSELL TURNER – Herald Editor
The Greene County Lady Wildcats breezed through the first round of the MHSAA Playoffs with a sweep of Raymond this past weekend. The baseball Wildcats have a little more work to do after splitting the first two games of their best-of-three series with Poplarville.
The Lady Cats made really quick work out of their matchups with the Lady Rangers, taking both games in under an hour by run-rule. GCHS hammered Raymond on the road on Friday by a 16-0 margin. They grabbed victory at home Saturday afternoon with nine runs in each of the first two innings to win 18-0 and advance to a matchup with Sumrall beginning on Friday.
The Lady Cats pounded out 14 hits Friday in Raymond, with eight for extra bases. Ten different GCHS players got in on the action, led by seniors CharLee Meadows and Charleigh Stewart, junior Breeze Jordan and eighth grader Kambrie Lawrence, who each had two hits apiece. CharLee Meadows, junior Taylor Brewer, freshman Erin Meadows and eighth grader Zamiah Knight paced the team with two RBIs each, while Jordan and seventh grader Addie Tungett each scored three times to top that category.
On Saturday at home, the elder Meadows led the way with a 3-for-3 showing at the plate with a team-high four RBIs and two runs scored. Knight, Lawrence and Jordan led the team with three runs scored each, while Tungett and junior Ciara Spiers followed with two RBIs apiece.
One word sums up Brewer’s presence in the pitcher’s circle during the series – dominant. The junior pitched five innings over the two games and faced the minimum number of 15 batters for back-to-back perfect games. She struck out eight of the 15 she faced and didn’t give up a walk.
Tungett pitched the final inning on Saturday and was also perfect, striking out the three batters she faced.
The Lady Cats will now put their focus on Sumrall. More information will be forthcoming on that series in this week’s edition of the Herald.
Wildcats host Poplarville Monday in the rubber match
Greene County and Poplarville each defended their home turf in the first two games of their Round 1 MHSAA Playoff series. The Wildcats claimed a 7-1 win over the Hornets at home on Friday, but could not hold an early 4-0 lead on the road Saturday evening, eventually falling by a 5-8 margin in game two.
Senior Ethan Roberts, and juniors Collin Pipkins and Phillip Herring led the way for GCHS on Friday. Herring was 2-for-4 at the plate with two RBIs and a run scored, while Pipkins was 2-for-3. Both had doubles in the win.
Roberts was 2-for-4 with an RBI.
Senior Keaton Hollinghead, who pinch ran for Lott, scored twice while senior Cam Dunnam also had a run scored while pinch running. Senior Conner West drove in a run and had a run scored, while Luke Barfield and senior Brayden Brewer rounded out the scoring with a run each.
The Wildcats benefitted from six defensive errors by Poplarville.
Pipkins threw 6.1 innings for GCHS to earn the win. He struck out seven, walked two and scattered seven hits. Brewer got the final two outs in releif.
On Saturday, GCHS jumped out to a big 4-0 lead in the first inning, but gave up four runs in the third inning and another four in the fifth en route to an 5-8 loss.
West, Roberts and sophomore Izayah Jordan each drove in runs in the first, led by Jordan’s 2-RBI single with two outs.
The Cats picked up another run in the top of the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Herring that scored Pipkins, but couldn’t muster anything beyond that as the Hornets were much different defensively at home.
Lott, Roberts and Jordan led their team with two hits apiece.
West took the loss on the mound. He went six innings, giving up eigh hits and severn earned runs, along the way. He finished with four strikeouts, compared to one walk.
The two teams will be back in action on Monday at Scott Bray Field. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. in what promises to be a wild atmosphere for the deciding game three.