• 68°

Palomarez slugs 2 homers; West Lincoln sweeps Weir

West Lincoln’s Ashley Palomarez usually has a premonition beforetaking her turn at bat. The senior center fielder was thinking homerun Tuesday and she responded with a pair of round-trippers,sparking the Lady Bears to a sweep of the Weir Lady Lions in thesecond round of the Class 1A state slowpitch softball playoffs,winning 12-4 and 18-7.

West Lincoln (26-6) advances to Saturday’s South statesemifinals and hosts archrival Bogue Chitto. Game One starting timeis tentatively set for 1 p.m. in the best-of-three series.

“Before you ever bat, you feel like you’re going to knock thetar out of the ball,” said Palomarez. “It was a feeling I had. Ijust felt it.”

In Game Two, Palomarez rallied the Lady Bears to the 18-7victory. In the fourth inning, she slugged a 2-run homer over theleft field fence, giving West Lincoln a 14-6 lead. In the bottom ofthe fourth, she stabbed a Weir line drive and turned a double play,throwing out the runner trying to get back to first base.

“Ashley hit the home run at a real good time,” said West Lincolnhead coach Andrew Redd. “That definitely picked us back up.”

In the fifth, Palomarez received an intentional walk to load thebases. That set the stage for Alicia Kennedy who responded with a2-RBI single for a 16-6 lead. Brittney Phillips followed with a2-run double for an 18-6 margin.

“I though we hit the ball real good,” said Redd. “We got in alittle trouble with our pitching Brittney (Phillips) couldn’t seemto find her rhythm.” Kennedy got the win in relief of Phillips asWeir took a 4-0 lead in the first frame.

Redd’s girls are aiming for their first state championship andPalomarez said her teammates are hungry. “We want it so bad, we cantaste it.”

Weir (18-6), based in Choctaw County, tied Ethel for first placein the division race but settled for second place in a tie-breakerruling. The Lady Lions started two seventh graders.

“We didn’t hit the ball today,” said Weir head coach LauraFaulkner. “West Lincoln is one of the best hitting teams we’veplayed. If there’s a better team in Mississippi, I’d like to seethem.”

A large partisan crowd watched the Lady Bears sweep Weir.

West Lincoln 12, Weir 4

Phillips got the win, striking out 3 and walking 4 as the LadyBears overcame a 2-0, first-inning deficit and won in 6 innings.Krystal Gibbs was the losing pitcher.

At the plate, Palomarez homered and doubled. Phillips doubledtwice and singled. Holli Smith had 3 singles. Lauren Smith andKennedy singled twice. Kelsey Bass, Heather Huff, Carrie Fauver andApril Kennedy also hit safely as West Lincoln took a 12-3 lead inthe fourth.

Three hits by Tammy Baber led Weir.

West Lincoln 18, Weir 7

Palomarez singled twice an homered in the nightcap. Fauver alsohomered. Alicia Kennedy doubled and singled. April Kennedy tripledand Phillips doubled.

Collecting 2 hits for West Lincoln were Lauren Smith, HolliSmith, Huff and Bass, helping the Lady Bears explode for 9 runs inthe second inning.

Gibbs doubled and singled for Weir which committed 6 errors.