Cathedral beats Copiah Academy to win first MAIS District title

Published 9:03 pm Thursday, September 23, 2021

NATCHEZ — Ice, water bottle showers and confetti rained from the sky as Green Wave softball players hugged each other, friends and family. Cathedral capped off their 18-4 season by going undefeated at home.

“It feels good for these girls because they have worked so hard,” head coach Craig Beesley said. “I’ve been coaching for a long time. For it to come down to the last game of the year, and being a home game, it was special for us. This was only our second team ever to go undefeated at home.”

Thursday night, Cathedral won its first district championship in softball since they joined MAIS in 2015. He said they won some district titles while he was a coach in the MHSAA.

He said MAIS is known for its fast-pitch softball, which is why this district championship is so special.

Tuesday night, a thunderstorm rolled through Natchez and delayed the game between Cathedral and Copiah. Lighting and rain forced the game to pause in the bottom of the second inning. The Green Wave led 5-3 Tuesday night but gave up two runs in the third inning Thursday evening.

“We had a little momentum early in the game,” Beesley said. “Today, they had all momentum until KG Fisher hit the home run in the fourth inning. That was a momentum changer in the game.”

From then on, Cathedral played three shutout innings to win the game. The final out was recorded on a ground out to the third basemen.

As a team, Cathedral has had great leadership from the seniors like Lauren Dunbar and talent in the younger players such as Lilly Crum. All year, Beesley and assistant coach Chuck Rasco have pushed the girls to be better. They now have two more weeks to go.

Brookhaven hosts the south state tournament Saturday. Eight teams start the tournament, and the top four teams advance to state. Games are Saturday to determine the top four teams. Monday’s games determine the seeding of the teams.

“With the competition, we will face this weekend, it will be tough to advance,” Beesley said. “The highest we ever did was second. We are hoping this group can match it or beat it and go further. Hopefully, we can enjoy tonight, regroup tomorrow and refocus for the south state. These kids are young, and they will rebound. Tomorrow is a new day, but I want them to enjoy this experience. It is hard to win a district championship in this league. They better enjoy it tonight because tomorrow it’s back to reality.”