Rain finally stops, and Lady Wave holds off Natchez High rally
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 9, 2003
NATCHEZ &045; You needed a Ginsu to cut all the tension during the third meeting of the season between Natchez High and Cathedral at the Natchez-Adams Girls Softball Complex Monday.
It had more drama than an hour with Susan Lucci. A controversial call, the momentum swaying
and a last at-bat rally that fell a run short.
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Natchez first baseman Tracy Davis clubbed an inside-the-park, three-run homer that brought the Bulldogs within one run in the top of the seventh.
However, Cathedral pitcher Brandi McGraw got Ashley Mitchell to pop out to short to end the threat and earn the Greenies the 12-11 victory.
&uot;It’s good to see this type of spirit in the girls and to see them focused,&uot; Cathedral head coach Cloyce Hinton said. &uot;It’s good to beat a real good team like Natchez because they are a good ball club. I’ve told them over and over, the time district rolls around, if they’re hitting the softball we can play with anybody.&uot;
A 12-run bottom of the second inning, which was highlighted by a bases-clearing, three-run triple from Jordan Chandler sparked the Green Wave (2-6) in their first win over Natchez in three tries.
In the seventh, Natchez came to bat trailing 12-8, but quickly served notice it would not go quietly into the muggy night as Sarah Weaver led off with a single and Honda Griffin followed by reaching on and error.
Up stepped Davis, who was 4 for 4 with four RBIs on the night, and she clobbered the first pitch down the right field line and motored all the way around while Cathedral right fielder Caitlin Huffines struggled to find the neon, yellow ball among the tall grass.
&uot;We had (Nos.) 2-3-4 coming up. That’s what you want in that situation, and it almost happened,&uot; Bulldogs head coach Leigh Anne Mason said. &uot;If Ashley Mitchell would have gotten a hit, it’s a whole new ball game. She has been in a slump for us, but she’ll work the kinks before Thursday&uot; when Natchez opens district at home versus Warren Central.
Natchez, who was the visitor in the game that had been rescheduled due to last Thursday’s rain, got six in the first two innings to build a 6-0 lead before the Green Wave started rolling.
Caitlin Huffines got Cathedral on the board when she drew a walk from Tracy Davis, who briefly replaced starter Krystal Arnold, to score Alex Roberts from the third with the bases loaded.
Kalin Kirkwood followed with an RBI single, and then McGraw scored Megan Whittington on an error by Bulldog shortstop Mable Green to make it 6-3 with still no one out.
Leighton McDaniel sandwiched a RBI walk in between run-scoring singles from Laura Huffines and Mattie Smith to knot the game at 6s.
&uot;If they stay focused we can play with anybody around I think,&uot; Hinton said of his Wave. &uot;When they come out of that, and get flat, they’re subject to crawl back into that shell. But tonight they came out.&uot;
After Tracy Davis got Emily Stevens to pop out, Chandler sent a screamer over the heads of Weaver and Bil-Leigh Lewis in center field to give Cathedral a 9-6 advantage.
&uot;What a nice hit. She’s one of our power hitters and she’s supposed to do that,&uot; Hinton said of Chandler. &uot;Everybody started hitting the ball better tonight.’
The merry-go-round did not stop for the Greenies, however, as Chandler, Kati Hinton and Whittington scored for a 12-6 cushion.
In all Cathedral sent 18 batters to the plate before McGraw fouled out to end the marathon inning.
&uot;We had that one really bad inning where everything kind of broke down on us,&uot; Mason said. &uot;We were walking people and making errors. My hat goes of to them (Cathedral). They outplayed us tonight.&uot;
The Bulldogs got one back in the third when Lewis collected her second RBI of the night on a single to center field to score Tracy Davis.
Tasha Davis followed and got two chances to be retired when the home plate umpire called her back to the plate after an apparent fly out to right field.
The umpire ruled Tasha Davis had swung at an illegal pitch, and it was automatically a dead ball.
Despite the rule book saying the batter has the option to swing at an illegal pitch, Tasha Davis’ second attempt resulted in a line out to short.
&uot;I guess what they said about the third time being the charm is true,&uot; said Hinton, who was vehemently upset after the umpire’s decision. &uot;They (Natchez) beat us pretty good those first two times. We’ve been in both ball games, but we made some mistakes and got down. Tonight it was their (Natchez) turn to make those mistakes.&uot;