Green Wave sweeps Dexter in blowouts

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 30, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; If Cathedral’s softball team keeps scoring runs like it did Thursday, it might give the mighty Green Wave football team a run for their money on points scored.

Showing a killer instinct, Cathedral (6-10, 4-3 division 7-1A) whipped Dexter all around the horn in a doubleheader sweep, where the Green Wave outscored the Bulldogs 30-1.

The wins put Cathedral back in the driver’s seat for the division crown and earning a playoff berth.

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&uot;If we win out, we’ve got a good shot at winning district,&uot; said Cathedral head coach Cloyce Hinton, whose team won 14-1 in the second contest. &uot;If we lose one there’s still a good shot we’ll make the playoffs, but if we lose two, we’re out of it. It’s just that simple.&uot;

Similar to the first game, where the Green Wave dropped 10 runs in the second inning to mercy rule Dexter, Cathedral used a five-run second and a seven-inning third to shorten the scheduled length of the nightcap.

Bulldog errors and aggressive baserunning is what did Dexter in, as Cathedral banged out 13 hits over three innings of work.

&uot;We had the effort we needed tonight. You could tell that the competition was not that good,&uot; Hinton said. &uot;(Dexter) only played 10 the first game and in the second game they only had nine. It was a shot for some of our younger ball players to get in and earn some experience.&uot;

Up 2-1 after the first inning, the second got off to a harmless start for Cathedral when two of the first three batters were retired on a groundout and a lineout, respectively.

Elizabeth Blackwell laced a double down the third baseline to bring Mattie Smith, who had also reached on a double, around to score for the first run of the inning.

Megan Whittington hustled out an infield hit, and the Bulldogs’ comedy of errors ensued.

Two runs scored to make it 5-1, when Kristina Brumfield reached base on a pair of errors from the shortstop.

After Brumfield was safe at second on the initial error shortstop Vanesha Warren threw to third to get Whittington and the ball was off the mark, allowing Whittington to race home.

&uot;First of all, they were district wins for us that are very important to the standings,&uot; said Hinton, not underscoring the importance of the victories. &uot;We’re over .500 now in district and I got news yesterday that Enterprise beat West Lincoln. It’s going to come down to how next week plays out.&uot;

Anna Huffines scored all the way from the batter’s box with a trio of errors paving the way.

After Huffines made it to first on an error from Warren, she raced to second while the throw sailed into left field. One her way to third, the relay was wide of the bag, as Huffines made it 7-1.

&uot;We won one district game last year and we’ve already got four this season,&uot; Hinton said. &uot;I feel that in itself is a big accomplishment, but it’s be nice to finish up 7-3 in district.&uot;

In the third, it was just old school pounding of the softball that ushered the Green Wave on their way to the victory.

The first four batters of the inning led off with singles and then Emily Stevens cleared the bases with a triple for a 12-1 advantage.

Jordan Chandler smacked a line drive between first and second, and it raced all the way to the wall for a 2-run homer run.

&uot;Emily Stevens started hitting the ball well for us for the first time in three games,&uot; Hinton said. &uot;Kate Reed is hitting again, which I’m going to need especially next week. Jordan had some nice hits, as well.&uot;

The Bulldogs had a rally going in the first when they loaded the bases and scored the game’s first run when pitcher Ebony Hampton beat out Kalin Kirkwood’s throw to the plate.

As if their day wasn’t bad enough already, Dexter erased any semblance of a big inning when Brittany Sartin’s fielder’s choice started a 1-2-5-4 triple play.

&uot;We got what we needed to get done and did it in a hurry. That was something else good about how today turned out,&uot; Hinton said. &uot;We’ve got four seniors on this team that want to play in October. For us to do that, we’re going to have to play good ball next week.&uot;

Hinton, a former football coach, said the difference between this year’s success and last year’s struggles has a lot to do with familiarity and senior leadership.

Last year it was a feeling-out process for Hinton, in his first year, and the players. Now, each is more comfortable with the other, and Hinton is learning some new idiosyncrasies to coaching

&uot;For 20 years I walked the sideline, grabbing facemasks and hollering and screaming and challenge young men to do certain things. You can’t do that in girls softball,&uot; he said.

&uot;I hope we’ve got more than two weeks left in us. Matter of fact, I’m hoping we will be able to host a couple of rounds in the playoffs.&uot;

Cathedral 16, Dexter 0, first game

The Green Wave exploded in their half of the second inning for 10 runs on eight hits to build a comfortable 13-0 lead, and then finished off Dexter the following inning.

Leading 3-0, Cathedral started hot in he second with back-to-back singles from Brandi McGraw and Kalin Kirkwood. A walk to Laura Huffines loaded the bases.

A one-out walk to Alex Roberts score the inning’s first run, but much more was in store for the Greenies and the mistake-prone Bulldogs.

A Jordan Chandler fielder’s choice plated another run for a 5-0 lead and issued the Green Wave’s second out of the inning.

Like Hurricane Isabel storming the Atlantic Coast, Cathedral then scored six consecutive runs by putting the ball in play, ignited by Emily Stevens’ 2 RBI double.

Leighton McDaniel followed with a run scoring single. After Kate Reed reach base on an error to score a run and make it a 9-0 Green Wave advantage, Caitlin Huffines knocked in a run with a single and Jennifer Bernard did her one better with a two-RBI double.

Batting around, McGraw came through with another single to push the lead up to 12-0 and a RBI single from Mattie Smith capped the marathon of runs.

Cathedral got another two-RBI double, this time from McDaniel, in the third and a RBI single from Bernard for the mercy-rule win.

In the first, the top three hitters Laura Huffines, Smith and Roberts each singled and scored to give the Greenies an early hat trick.