Wesson, Loyd Star, West Lincoln, Enterprise cruise into softball playoffs second round

Published 3:00 pm Wednesday, April 24, 2024

There was light work for most of the area high school softball programs in the opening round of the MHSAA playoffs this weekend. Here’s a recap of what went down and who the remaining schools will play next in the postseason.

Brookhaven High (15-12) will begin the 5A playoffs against East Central (19-4) on Friday with a game in Hurley that begins at 5 p.m. The Panthers will host game two on Saturday at 12 p.m. If a third game is needed, it will be played on Monday at East Central. The MHSAA 5A-7A classes of softball have one less round of playoffs, thus the Panthers did not play last week.


Wesson 16, Kemper County 0

Wesson 15, Kemper County 0

Wesson (20-3) and coach Michelle Nunnery steamrolled Kemper County in the first round of the MHSAA 3A playoffs and will now move on to face Seminary (15-10) in the second round that begins on Friday. Seminary beat Tylertown 12-1 and 25-5 in its opening series.

The three regular-season losses this year for Wesson were to 6A Warren Central (19-5), 5A Florence (18-7) and 2A Puckett (23-8).

The winner of the Wesson/Seminary series will meet the winner of Enterprise-Clarke (14-9-1) and West Marion (17-6-1) in the 3A quarterfinals. It was West Marino that eliminated Wesson last year in a playoff series that went to extra innings in the deciding third game.

Game one with Kemper County only took two and a half innings to complete on Friday as Wesson scored one run in the first and 15 in the second inning. Mallory Sanders, Emileigh Woodson, Jaide Shoop, and Mary Hynum drove in two runs each for the Wesson offense. The ace of the staff and a Longwood University signee, Sanders struck out eight of the 10 batters she faced in the opener. Sanders homered, Shoop and Julianna Wilson each slugged a triple and Preslee Newman hit a double for the Cobras.

The teams ran it back for game two and Wesson scored all 15 runs in the bottom of the first to clinch the series sweep. Shoop and Hynum led the way at the plate with three RBIs each and Wilson had the only extra base hit of the game with a double.

Wesson dominated Region 7-3A this season. They outscored their region foes Franklin County, Port Gibson, Jefferson County and South Pike by a combined run total of 115-3 in eight games.

Wesson will host game one Friday at 6 p.m. and Seminary will host game two on Saturday, also with a 6 p.m. first pitch. If a third game is needed, it’ll be played at Wesson on Monday.


Loyd Star 12, Scott Central 0

Loyd Star 15, Scott Central 1

The Loyd Star Hornets (16-7-1) had little trouble with Scott Central in the opening round of the MHSAA 2A bracket, winning game one 12-0 at home on Friday and then traveling to Forest to play a delayed second game on Monday that finished 15-1 for the team from Lincoln County.

First-year head coach John Smith and his squad move on to the second round, where they’ll face the Puckett Wolves. Puckett defeated Loyd Star 4-0 earlier this season in Rankin County. The Wolves are 23-8 overall and finished second in Region 6-2A behind Pisgah.

Puckett easily dispatched Heidelberg in the opening round, winning 13-0 and 21-0. The Wolves are 3-0 this season against area schools as they hold wins over Loyd Star, Wesson (11-1) and West Lincoln (7-1).

At the plate, Puckett is led by senior infielder Marlee Dampeer, a Jones College softball signee. Dampeer boasts a team best .478 average and has scored a team-high 51 runs this season for PHS.

Junior Ainsley Gennaro has the highest average at the plate with a .424 average for Loyd Star. She’s second on the team with 28 hits, trailing freshman Maddie Kate Britt who has 29 hits thus far.

The pitching matchup in the series will be between Loyd Star freshman Layla Burt and Puckett eighth-grader Lila Murphy.

Burt currently boasts a 1.17 ERA with 134 strikeouts this season. The 2023 Daily Leader All-Area MVP, Burt has thrown 119 innings of action thus far in 2024.

Murphy has struck out 118 batters in just over 115 innings and has a 2.18 ERA coming into the second round.

Burt struck out nine in the opening win over Scott Central at home on Friday as the Hornets got a three RBI night at the plate from freshman catcher Kaylin Hester. In game two on Monday, Burt struck out six in four innings and Hester again had a three RBI performance to pace the LS offense.

In the win on Monday, Burt became the all-time strikeout leader in program history as she’s now sat down 460 batters and counting in her career.

Game one of the series will be played at Loyd Star, with the first pitch on Friday scheduled for 6 p.m. Game two will be at Puckett on Saturday at 2 p.m. If a third and deciding game is needed, it will be played at Loyd Star on Monday.


W Lincoln 9, Bay Springs 4

W Lincoln 16, Bay Springs 14

It’ll be a battle of green clad teams when West Lincoln (15-8) and Pisgah (21-6) meet in the second round of the MHSAA 2A playoffs.

The Bears in green from Flea Hop moved past Bay Springs after a wild one on Monday night in Jasper County. West Lincoln scored three runs in the top of the first only to see the home team from Bay Springs tie it at 3-3 after one complete inning.

Bay Springs led 5-4 after two and the game was tied at 6-6 after three innings. West Lincoln led 9-6 after four innings and then trailed 14-13 after five innings. Coach Anita Thornton’s WL squad turned it on late to get one in the sixth and two in the seventh to secure the win and close out the series.

On Monday, West Lincoln outhit Bay Springs 19-10, but committed six errors as opposed to four by the homestanding Bulldogs.

Starting pitcher Whitney Grace Whittington gave up six earned runs on 10 hits. She struck out six, walked two and hit two.

At the plate, Whittington hit a double, as did Baleigh Griffith, Riley Martin, Ryleigh Purdy and Caroline Hedgepeth. It was Hedgepeth who had the hottest bat of all as the sophomore drove in five runs while also slugging a home run.

Purdy drove in four runs and Kaylee Wallace also had a triple for the Bears.

The Pisgah Dragons walked through Collins in the first round, winning 19-2 and 20-0 in a doubleheader at Sand Hill. Regular season losses this season for Pisgah were to 4A Newton County, 6A Neshoba Central (24-4), 5A Florence High and 7A Northwest Rankin (26-0).

The Dragons won 9-0 when they faced West Lincoln on March 2. West Lincoln got seven hits that day off junior pitcher Brooke Cooper but failed to plate a run against a tough Pisgah defense.

Pisgah will host the opener on Friday in Rankin County with a 6 p.m. first pitch. West Lincoln hosts game two on Saturday at 11 a.m. If a third game is needed, it’ll be played on Monday at Pisgah.


Enterprise 21, W Bolivar 0

Enterprise 23, W Bolivar 0

Enterprise (14-9) invited West Bolivar down from the delta for a doubleheader to start their MHSAA 1A playoff series and the Yellow Jackets quickly took care of business on Friday with two blowout wins. It was the second straight year for EAC to face West Bolivar in the first round.

Coach Alicia Smith and her Jackets will now focus on facing Ethel (15-13), the team that eliminated them last season, in this year’s second round. Ethel dispatched Lumberton 17-2 and 14-1 in its first-round playoff series.

Elena White leads the Ethel pitching staff with a 2.55 ERA in 88 innings of action.

Smith used two different pitchers in the sweep of West Bolivar. Eighth grader Zoey Dean pitched the opener and struck out eight without giving up a hit in three innings. Dean was almost perfect, walking just one batter.

Junior Miranda Anderson was perfect in the two innings that it took her to win game two. Anderson struck out four and did not allow a batter aboard.

Sophomore Caitlin Case had two home runs in game one and drove in a team best five runs for the Yellow Jackets. Sophomore Terra Vining also doubled, and sophomore Isabella Jordan tripled in game one.

In game two, Jordan and seventh grader Piper Martin both hit home runs for the Yellow Jackets to drive in two runs each.

Ethel took game one of the series between the schools by an 8-1 score at Enterprise last year and then closed it out with an 8-6 victory at home. The Tigers were then eliminated in the 1A semifinals by Sebastopol.

EAC will play at Ethel in a 5 p.m. matchup on Friday and will host game two at 2 p.m. on Saturday. If a third game is needed, it will be played at Ethel on Monday.


Bay High 8, Lawrence County 1

Lawrence 5, Bay High 3

Bay High 11, Lawrence  4

Lawrence County went on the road Saturday and won at Bay High to extend the MHSAA 4A playoff series between the schools, but the Tigers from Bay St. Louis came to Monticello on Monday and took the rubber game to end the season for the Cougars (16-11).

Bay High (9-15-1) moves on to face Sumrall (20-9) in the second round.

Sophomore pitcher Marleigh Russell tossed the win on Saturday for the Cougars from Lawrence County. Russell went seven innings and gave up five hits, one earned run and struck out one batter. The Cougars also got a double each from eighth grader Adaya Ball, sophomore Addie Raye Pennington and sophomore Erika Lambert in the game two victory.

Bay High scored once in the first, twice in the second and three times in the third to take control early on Monday in the series finale. Five errors by Lawrence County did not help the Cougar’s cause. LC had four errors on Friday in the game one loss for coach Alexandria Harris-Roberson.


Lake 11, Bogue Chitto 1

Lake 17, Bogue Chitto 0

The Lake Hornets (17-8) are on to the second round of the MHSAA 2A bracket after getting a sweep of Bogue Chitto on Friday and Saturday. Lake will meet Mize (11-10) in the next round.

Bogue Chitto and coach Candace McDowell end the season with a 5-10 record.

Lake led 7-0 in game two through five complete innings before ending the game early with 10 runs in the top of the sixth.

Joy Leggett, Abigail Holder and Kinley Wisinger each hit safely for the Bobcats in game one. In game two, BC got a hit each from Holder, Leggett and Madelyn DeJesus. Senior outfielder Jacey Frazier also had two hits for the Bobcats in the series finale.