Lady Rockets blast Lawrence County in 2 games
The powerhouse Neshoba Central Lady Rockets swept the Lawrence County Lady Cougars Monday night, scoring 34 runs across two games to take the doubleheader.
Neshoba Central has won six consecutive state championships in slow pitch and another six consecutive titles in fast-pitch. Last season, their fast-pitch team finished the season undefeated and ranked No. 1 in the nation by USA Today.
The Lady Rockets’ offensive might would be on full display Monday, as they pounded out 14 runs to Lawrence County’s two in the first game, then outscored the Lady Cougars again 20-12 in the second. Leading 2-0 heading into the third inning of the opener, Neshoba would take full control of the game, scoring five runs then and in every inning following.
“We just came out flat, getting only eight hits all game,” said Lady Cougars coach Marc Howard. “We were a little shaky on offense and defense. We had our opportunities, we just didn’t put hits together.”
Neshoba got on the board first with a one-out, two-run home run by Tori Henderson — her first of many on the night — before the Lady Cougars could record the final two outs.
Lawrence County managed to get a runner on base in their half of the first, as Skyler Speights reached first on an error by the Lady Rockets but was left stranded on first base.
The Lady Rockets opened up the game in the third inning, batting five runs across the plate. Neshoba opened the third inning with three straight singles to load up the bases before Elleigh Willis cleared them on a triple.
Neshoba would score two more times off a sacrifice fly by Henderson and a one-out home run by Hailey Billie before Lawrence County could get out of the inning.
The Lady Cougars broke onto the scoreboard in the bottom of the third. Alyssa Lambert led off the inning with a triple. With one out, Sydney Pevey nailed a two-run home run. Lawrence County would try to add more as Abbie Errington and Speights followed with a single, but Neshoba was able to prevent Lawrence County from scoring.
The Lady Rockets tacked on three runs in the fourth inning, one run in the fifth inning and three in the sixth.
Game two saw Lawrence County dish out 18 hits before Neshoba would ride a late wave of momentum to a 20-12 win.
Neshoba was the first on the scoreboard, getting a run in on an RBI single by Willis, and scored their second run of the first inning off a Lady Cougars error.
“I’m proud of our girls in the way the rebounded from game one,” Howard said. “They fought back in game two. The girls stuck in there and played good defense and hit the ball hard.”
The Lady Cougars quickly heated up their bats in their half of the first, scoring five runs. With two on and no outs, Speights nailed a three-run home run. Lawrence County would score two more runs off a bases-loaded fielder’s choice before the Lady Rockets could end the inning.
Neshoba started pulling within Lawrence County, as they scored one run in the second inning off a bases-loaded sacrifice and one run in the third inning off a leadoff home run by Henderson.
Leading 5-4 heading into the bottom of the third, the Lady Cougars tacked on six runs. Errington led off the inning with a double. Gracie Hartzog followed with a single. Lawrence County scored one run off a fielder’s choice.
Facing two outs, Raylee Ready nailed a two-run double. Anne Claire Sistrunk followed with an RBI single. Lawrence County scored their final two runs of the inning off a two-run home run by Peavey.
The Lady Rockets fourth inning helped jump start their rally, as they managed six runs. Neshoba took over the game in the fifth inning, scoring three runs, and they added to their lead in the sixth and seventh scoring, seven runs combined.
The Lady Cougars attempted to rally in the seventh inning but could only push one run across the plate.
Story by Dave Linton