First time for everything: Cathedral beats state champ Silliman in comeback fashion

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 21, 2018

There is a first time for everything.

For the first time since joining the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools four years ago, the Cathedral Lady Wave defeated Silliman Institute.

With a whopping hit to right field, Yani Rojo batted in two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to push Cathedral past the defending MAIS Class AAA champions, 4-3.

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Not until Rojo reached third base, however, did the entire Lady Wave fanbase take a collectively exuberant exhale.

“I saw the ball it her glove and bounce out,” Rojo said of her lucky hit. “I was just thinking ‘Please drop it. Please drop it.’”

On the hit, Cathedral’s Madeline Smith and Allie Feltus each crossed home plate and Rojo stopped at third base only to receive a big hug from coach Craig Beesley. As soon as she caught her breath, Rojo stuck out her hand to show her teammates she was shaking from pure adrenaline.

“I was just so happy,” she said. “Goodness gracious.”

Beesley attested that hit was exactly what his team needed.

“We’ve played so many close games this year and come out on the bottom. For us to get that hit at that time of the game, maybe that’ll be something that gives us the confidence we need,” Beesley said.

Smith recorded a first of her own, smacking a ball directly over the center field fence and tying the game 2-2 in the second inning.

Smith said, too, she was shaking knowing it was her first home run.

“I’ve gotten hits, but in practice it hits the top of the fence and bounces back in,” she said. “I’m still shaking.”

Coincidentally, Smith was wearing her jersey from last year after misplacing her own.

“All day I was saying there has to be a reason for this,” she said.

With her and her teammates’ help, Smith has now placed Cathedral in the first place spot in its district (4-5, 2-0). But, Beesley said he is still holding his breath.

“We got the key hits when we had to but if we don’t follow this up with good games the rest of this week and next week, this game doesn’t mean anything,” he said. “We need to continue to play at that level for the rest of the year.”

Cathedral will be back in action tonight when it hosts Franklin Academy. Varsity begins at 6:30 p.m.

In Monday’s win, Rojo ended the night batting 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Addison Jackson pitched all seven innings to earn the win. She recorded three strikeouts including one in the final frame.

“It’s big that we beat them, we just have to follow it up,” Beesley said.