Green Wave nets first district 7-1A victory
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 17, 2003
NATCHEZ &045; A solid pitching performance by Cathedral pitcher Brandi McGraw, an all-around outstanding defensive game, and key hits by Mattie Smith, Alex Roberts, Kate Reid and Kalin Kirkwood caught Enterprise by surprise.
The end result was a 6-1 win by the Lady Green Wave over the Lady Yellow Jackets Thursday night at the Natchez-Adams Girls Softball Complex in a key Division 7-1A matchup for both teams.
McGraw pitched a complete-game five-hitter, struck out two and walked just one, and the defense behind her made one outstanding play after another, whether in the infield or the outfield.
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&uot;Big win. I gave two game balls out, one to Brandi and the other to (catcher) Mattie (Smith),&uot; Cathedral head coach Cloyce Hinton said. &uot;We played excellent defense. You could see the hustle with the kids tonight.&uot;
It was appropriate that Smith started things off for Cathedral (3-9, 1-2) with a triple in the bottom of the first inning and ended the game with a great catch in foul territory off a pop-up by Enterprise first baseman Jana Brister on the third-base side to end the game.
After the triple, Smith would score with two outs when Jordan Chandler reached first on an error by shortstop Kaylin Burke for a 1-0 lead.
&uot;That triple to start the ball game got everybody’s attention, everybody focused on what they need to do,&uot; Hinton said.
Brister hit a two-out single for Enterprise (9-5, 2-1) in the top of the second inning, but was stranded at first when McGraw got Katie Hux to strike out on a foul ball for strike three.
Also defensively for Cathedral, left-centerfielder Roberts, right-centerfielder Kati Hinton, first baseman Emily Stevens, second baseman Kirkwood and third baseman Reid played solid defense and made one good catch after another to back up McGraw’s strong performance on the mound.
&uot;In slow-pitch softball, you can’t expect to score one run and expect to win,&uot; Enterprise head coach Steve Sasser said. &uot;We’ve got to generate a little more offense. Cathedral’s got a good team. They played well.&uot;
Roberts led off the bottom of the second with a triple and scored on a one-out triple by Reid. Reid went to second on an error by right-centerfielder Dana Leeper and scored on a single by Kirkwood to give the Lady Green Wave a 3-0 lead.
&uot;We’ve been in kind of a hitting slump lately,&uot; Reid said. &uot;Tonight we got a rally started and it got us pumped up. We’ve got to keep this going to compete in district.&uot;
McGraw singled and went to second on the throw to third, but she and Kirkwood were stranded as Laura Huffines grounded by to third base and Smith struck out on a foul ball to end the inning.
In the top of the third, Alisha Mason lined what ended up being an infield single off the leg of McGraw, but McGraw stayed in the game.
&uot;Brandi refused to come out when she had the bruise on her leg,&uot; Hinton said.
&uot;We were very fortunate to have her,&uot; Reid said. &uot;She comes through when she has three balls and throw strikes. We’ve always had the defense.&uot;
Cathedral tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the third, all with two outs as Leighton McDaniel, Roberts, Hinton and Reid all singled. Reid hit what ended up being a two-run single with the bases loaded and an costly error by Leeper scored Hinton from second for a 6-0 lead.
&uot;It’s just nice to get that monkey off our back,&uot; coach Hinton said. &uot;We’ve got a doubleheader next Monday at Salem and next Thursday here against Dexter. We could very easily be 5-2 in district.&uot;
Enterprise’s only run of the game occurred in the top of the fourth as Leeper reached first on a fielder’s choice, went to second when Deanna Albritton walked and scored on a double by Brister.
McGraw pitched one-hit ball over the final three innings, a single by Leeper in the top of the seventh. But Albritton lined back to McGraw for the first out and Leeper was thrown out at first for the second out.
&uot;Like I told my players, ‘This is a setback, not a disaster,&uot; Sasser said. &uot;We’ve got West Lincoln and Bogue Chitto next week. We’ve got to come out of that with a split.&uot;