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Lady Wave fall to Salem

Ben Hillyer | The Natchez Democrat — Cathedral softball players Beth Fortenbery, Ginny Daggett, Mollie Devening and McKenzie Milligan celebrate a double play that ended the second inning of the Green Wave’s loss to Salem Tuesday afternoon.

The Cathedral School girls’ softball team was in control throughout Tuesday’s game against Region 8-A opponent Salem. But a final inning collapse led to the Green Wave falling 5-4 to the Lady Wildcats.

Cathedral was ahead 4-0 heading into the top of the seventh inning, but made four errors and allowed five unearned runs to lose by one.

“The last inning was an inning of our errors,” Cathderal coach Gary Blackwell said.

“It was a game of errors, they made theirs (in the third inning) and we made all of ours in (the final inning).”

The Green Wave scored all of their runs in the third inning, including two unearned runs that resulted from an error by Salem second baseman Rachel Bond.

Shannon Mire led the third off with a walk for Cathedral, and McKenzie Milligan followed that with a single. Mire scored when Ginny Daggett reached on Bond’s error.

Beth Fortenbery followed Daggett with an RBI double, then pitcher Mollie Devening singled to score Daggett, and Payton Monticello singled to score Fortenbery.

With runners on second and third in the inning Salem brought in pitcher Kayla Puder, and she would shut down the Green Wave for the rest of the contest.

Puder would eventually get the win, allowing no runs and no hits to the Green Wave trough four-and-one-third innings.

Devening was sharp in the circle for Cathedral as well. She went all seven innings, allowing six hits, one walk and struck out four. She gave up zero earned runs.

“Molly was doing good, but the defense fell apart,” Blackwell said.

The seventh inning seemed like it was going to be pretty harmless for Cathedral after the first three batters.

Devening got Paige Fitt to ground out, then Charlotte Fortenberry reached on the first Cathedral error of the inning, and then Devening struck out Reece Bailey.

But, with two outs and one runner on for Salem, the bottom fell out for Cathedral.

The next five batters for Salem all reached on two singles and three errors. By the time the inning was over, Cathedral trailed 5-4.

Cathedral could not answer in the bottom of the seventh.

The afternoon was not a total loss for Cathedral, however. Because they only lost by one run, the Green Wave still wins the season series over Salem because of run differential.

Cathedral beat Salem by two earlier this season.

This differential puts Cathedral in good shape to win the region, with two games left to play against Resurrection, Blackwell said.

“It was very important to (win this series) today because of how the brackets will fill out in the tournament,” Blackwell said.

Cathedral drops to 13-7 on the season and 1-1 in the region. They will host McComb Friday night.

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