Lady Waves crush Natchez High

Published 9:31 am Friday, April 13, 2007

Two teams that endured plenty of tough times during this fast-pitch softball season took on each other Thursday afternoon in the regular-season finale.

Granted, neither Cathedral nor Natchez High is going to the playoffs this season, but team pride was on the line for both the Lady Waves and the Lady Bulldogs at the Natchez-Adams Girls Softball Complex.

In what was also the final game for Cathedral seniors Megan Whittington and Kalin Kirkwood, the Lady Green Wave defeated the Lady Bulldogs 18-1 in three innings.

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Whittington went 1-for-2 with a double and was walked twice, while Kirkwood was 2-for-2 with an inside-the-park home run and a triple, was walked once and was hit by a pitch.

The win gave Cathedral five wins on the season.

“My seniors, they played awesome. It was a wonderful way to go out,” Cathedral head coach Pam Clayton said. “They set the mark that the girls need to reach in the upcoming seasons. We have no juniors. We have three 10th-graders and all the rest are ninth- and eighth-graders. We’re not there yet. Give us two years and we’ll be there.”

Cathedral scored five runs on five hits in the top of the first inning off Natchez High pitcher Triyonna Green. The Lady Bulldogs managed to score one run off Lady Green Wave pitcher Mae Durkin in the bottom of the first thanks to a leadoff single by Leslie Farmer, an error and a passed ball.

But the Lady Green Wave put the game out of reach by scoring eight runs in the top of the second inning on four hits and three Natchez High errors. Cathedral then scored five runs in the top of the third on three hits and an error.

The big hit of the game was an outside-the-park home run by Cathedral’s Epiphany Jackson, who was also walked twice. After the game, a couple of teammates were looking for her home run ball.

“It’s been a long season. We didn’t really have the numbers,” Natchez High head coach David Day said. “We were down to 10 players. Until this morning, I didn’t know if we were going to have enough players to play today.”

The only other hit Durkin allowed was a single by Shayanna Bradley who, like Farmer, went 1-for-2. Durkin also struck out three and walked three and helped herself by going 3-for-3 with a double.

“We just have to overcome the mindset that we are such a young team and we have to develop some pitching,” Clayton said.

Day, on other hand, noted that for Natchez High’s fast-pitch softball program to succeed, both the players and the community need to get more involved.

“It was a lack of dedication to the program by the players, especially the high school. They’re weren’t really wanting to put in the time that they needed. The upside is we have a lot of young players, especially from the middle school.

“It’s going to take the whole community to get behind fast-pitch softball here. This is the third or fourth season (for fast-pitch softball at Natchez High) and each year there’s been a different head coach. You see a program like Vidalia has and they have a good summer program.”