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Cathedral softball advances to second round of Class 1A playoffs

Cathedral High School’s Elizabeth Smith, center, laughs with her teammates, from left, Abby Brown, Marty Lewis, McKenzie Milligan and Emily Roscoe on the mound after Smith caught a hard line drive right at her during a 7-0 victory over Noxapater High School in the first round of the MHSAA Class 1A playoffs Tuesday. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

Cathedral High School’s Elizabeth Smith, center, laughs with her teammates, from left, Abby Brown, Marty Lewis, McKenzie Milligan and Emily Roscoe on the mound after Smith caught a hard line drive right at her during a 7-0 victory over Noxapater High School in the first round of the MHSAA Class 1A playoffs Tuesday. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — Cathedral’s Elizabeth Smith knew she had gotten a hold of a fastball from Noxapater’s Lexi Thomas in Tuesday’s MHSAA Class 1A playoff game.

“I was watching it a little bit,” said Smith of the ball when it took flight off her bat.

The ball carried over the fence in center field for a two-run home run, which pushed Cathedral’s lead to 4-0 in the third inning.

But the Lady Wave only needed one run to secure a win in Game 2, as Smith tossed a complete game shutout on the mound and Cathedral punched their ticket to the second round of the playoffs with a 7-0 win.

“It feels great,” said Cathedral head coach Gary Blackwell of securing a spot in the next round. “We’ve been setting goals, and our goal is to take each round one at a time. We just reached this goal, and now, we are setting the next one for the next series.”

Smith was dominant both on the mound and at the plate. She helped her own cause going 3-4 with two doubles and the home run and driving in four runs.

“Elizabeth has just been on fire lately,” Blackwell said. “She’s been hitting the ball and seeing it good.”

Pitching, Smith gave up just four hits and struck out nine. She said her fastball and riseball were the pitches working best for her on the night.

Smith got the scoring started for the Lady wave in the first inning with an RBI-double that scored Mackenzie Watts.

Then in the second, Watts plated a run with a sacrifice fly to push the lead to 2-0, Smith followed with her two-run home run, and Marty Lewis scored on an error later in the frame to give Cathedral a 5-0 advantage.

The Lady Wave then plated two more runs in the sixth inning with Caroline Kaiser scoring on an error and Smith knocking in another runner on a sacrifice fly.

Smith, along with Baylee Graning and McKenzie Milligan had multiple hits for the Lady Wave.

Although the team is playing their best softball of the year Smith said, she doesn’t want everyone to get ahead of themselves yet.

“We don’t want to be too high and be too cocky,” she said. “So we are just going game by game.”

Cathedral will face off with the winner of the Sebastopool/Stringer series in the second round.

Sebastopool took Game 1 15-3, and Blackwell said he is very familiar with their team.

“We play them just about every time we get in the playoffs,” Blackwell said. “They know us and we know them pretty good.”

 

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