WCCA falls in South State opener Wednesday

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 2, 2006

WAYNESBORO &8212; The Wilkinson County Christian Academy Lady Rams got off to an inauspicious start at the MPSA Class A South State Tournament Wednesday afternoon at Wayne Academy, losing to the Kemper Academy Lady Rams 10-0.

There were two key turning points to Kemper Academy&8217;s win over WCCA.

The first occurred in the bottom of the first inning. Kemper Academy pitcher Andreda Fulton walked the bases loaded, giving WCCA an opportunity to put runs on the board. But Fulton was able to escape the jam without giving up a run.

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&8220;We didn&8217;t hit the ball well at all in the first game,&8221; Lady Rams head coach Ray Olive said. &8220;Their pitcher was wild. The pitcher was a lot slower than we faced all year.&8221;

The second was the top of the third inning. Kemper put the game out of reach by scoring seven runs on three hits and four costly errors by WCCA.

&8220;We made nine physical errors and we made four mental errors,&8221; Olive said. &8220;I don&8217;t believe it had to do with the (long) drive. We just weren&8217;t ready to play. The six hits Kemper had were spread out over four innings. Shouldn&8217;t have hurt us that bad.&8221;

Olive noted that Bethany Fletcher pitched a good game, but that the defense behind her could have helped her.

&8220;Two of their errors were made in the outfield. Instead of a long single, they went out to the fence,&8221; Olive said.

WCCA, the District 7-A champion, played much better defensively in its second game, a 6-1 win over the Russell Christian Lady Warriors in a losers&8217; bracket game.

Winning pitcher Caroline Walker held Russell Christian, the District 6-A champion, to just one hit in four innings.

&8220;The story in the second game was that Russell Christian pitched two pitchers and they had nine walks,&8221; Olive said.

Even though the Lady Rams (12-17) had two hits again, they were able to take advantage of the walks and use some aggressive base running to put pressure on the Lady Warriors&8217; pitching and defense.

&8220;We ran a lot,&8221; Olive said. &8220;We stole second and we stole third. I told my team if we&8217;re going down, we&8217;re going down running. We were thrown out a couple of times, but it worked.&8221;

WCCA led just 2-1 after two innings, but it broke the game open with two runs in the top of the third inning and two more in the top of the fourth.

Olive was also pleased with the way the defense played in this must-win situation.

&8220;The one run (Russell Christian scored in the bottom of the second) came off two errors in one inning. They were both hustle errors, so I can&8217;t fault them for that,&8221; Olive said. &8220;I thought we did a much better job defensively and being mentally ready to play.&8221;

WCCA will take on Wayne Academy, which defeated Huntington and then lost to District 8-A champion River Oaks, in a losers&8217; bracket game Saturday at 10 a.m.

Wayne Academy 9, Huntington 1

WAYNESBORO &8212; Speaking of not getting off to a good start, that&8217;s exactly what happened to the Lady Hounds, the District 7-A runners-up, as they ran into a buzz saw in the District 5-A champion and host Lady Jaguars Wednesday afternoon.

Huntington will take on the loser of the Claiborne Academy-Kemper Academy game in a losers&8217; bracket game Saturday at 10 a.m.

Centreville 11, Porter&8217;s Chapel 0

Centreville 1, Copiah Academy 0

LIBERTY &8212; The Lady Tigers, the No. 3 seed out of District 5-AA, got to a surprisingly impressive 2-0 start at the MPSA Class AA South State Tournament, being hosted by Amite School Center, at Vance Park.

&8220;Very happy to win the first two,&8221; Centreville head coach Mark Mann said. &8220;That&8217;s always big.&8221;

Emily Gaulden pitched one-hitters in both games and was big at the plate against the Lady Eagles of Porter&8217;s Chapel. Gaulden went 3-for-3 with two doubles and five runs batted in. She had a three-run double in the bottom of the first and a two-run double in the bottom of the third.

Centreville (23-13) scored five runs in the first, four in the second and two in the third.

But perhaps it was Gaulden&8217;s performance on the mound against the District 6-AA champion Lady Colonels that was the most impressive. She struck out five and walked three, but held a good Copiah team without a run.

&8220;She hit her spots well. She had all of her pitches working for her,&8221; Mann said. &8220;An outstanding day. Just very pleased with it. She&8217;s capable of doing this every time she&8217;s on the mound. I&8217;ve got a lot of confidence in her.&8221;

The game was scoreless through four innings as both Gaulden and Copiah&8217;s C. Traxler were magnificent on the mound. But the Lady Tigers finally got to Traxler in the top of the fifth inning.

With two outs, Haley Bowser doubled and Amber Addington doubled to bring in Bowser with the only run of the game.

Centreville will take on a familiar opponent in District 5-AA champion Silliman Saturday at 12 p.m.

Patrick Jones