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Brookhaven falls to Meridian in opening round of playoffs

By Dave Linton

The Brookhaven Lady Panthers won a shootout against Meridian in the opening game of the MHSAA softball playoffs Saturday, but dropped the next two to end their season.

The first game went eight innings with the Lady Panthers coming out on top 21-20.

Following that explosive win in game one, Lady Panthers’ coach Mandy Vinson stressed how important it was that the team cut out the errors. Errors would plague the Lady Panthers for the rest of the tournament.

In the second game, Kat Wallace got the Lady Panthers started in the first inning, nailing a lead-off homer.

Meridian took a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the first, scoring three runs off a RBI double by Zykeyah Horn, a RBI single by Alexia Moffite, and a RBI sacrifice fly by Adre’Oinna Hickman. The Lady Wildcats added two more runs in the second off errors.

BHS managed one run in the third inning off an error, following Wallace’s double. The Lady Panthers closed the gap in the fifth, scoring three runs. Sharquita Cook started the inning with a homerun. Madi Miller brought in Wallace, who hit a double, with a RBI double. Katie Westbrook brought Miller in on a RBI single.

Meridian responded, scoring one run with a homer.

The Lady Panthers scored their final run of the game in the sixth with a RBI double by Henderson. Meridian added three runs in the sixth with a homerun to secure the 9-6 win.

Homeruns were the theme for the Lady Wildcats in the final game. Meridian scored quickly in the first inning, taking a 3-0 lead.

The Lady Wildcats kept the Lady Panthers off the board until the third inning. Wallace hit a RBI double to get the Lady Panthers on the board. Miller followed with a two-run sacrifice.

The Lady Wildcats added two runs off a RBI double by Moffite, and got one run in off an error by the Lady Panthers.

The Lady Wildcats increased their lead in the fourth, scoring four runs. Zaniya Rush hit a two-run homerun. Jaliyah Davis followed with a solo homerun. Horn would hit a homerun before the Lady Panthers could get out of the inning.

The Lady Wildacts scored their final run in the sixth inning, as Davis nailed another homerun.

The Lady Panthers attempted a rally in the bottom of the sixth, scoring five runs. With one runner on, Jadeyn Fuller hit a two-run, inside park homerun. Henderson brought Meg Foster in on a RBI sacrifice. Cook followed with a homerun. Wallace brought Laya Woodall in on a RBI sacrfice fly, before the Lady Wildcats could get the final out.

The Lady Wildcats would keep the Lady Panthers scoreless in the seventh, and won the final game by a score of 10-8.

“I’m proud of our kids. They played their hearts out all day and never gave up. They showed good sportsmanship throughout the day,” Vinson said.