Clutch double play seals Wesson victory

Published 8:52 pm Thursday, May 2, 2024

WESSON — Senior Mallory Sanders said she trusted her junior center fielder Lilly Channell would catch the fly ball that was dropping back down to the ground as West Marion’s coach yelled to the game tying runner that it would in fact drop for a base hit. Channell made the catch and tossed to second base for the game-ending double play for Wesson to win 2-1. 

The win was a big step in Wesson’s mission to not only win the third round series of the MHSAA 3A Softball Playoffs but to also get revenge on the very team that put them out last year. Sanders said they lost by just one run last season and one run was the difference Thursday night. 

Channell said the catch helped avenge a rough game last year against West Marion. She dropped two fly balls against them in last year’s playoff series. Her glove made the most important catch of the game. 

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 “At first I didn’t think I would get there. We had worked and worked on those type balls at practice,” Channell said. “I knew I had to get to it. Fortunately I did and luckily we got the win.”

Players, fans and coaches stopped breathing as the ball hung in the sky before it started plummeting descent to the field. It was a nerve wracking and tense moment, you could feel the energy teetering on a knife’s edge. 

While West Marion’s runner though Channell could not get to the ball, Wesson players were celebrating the double play. Sanders jumped up and down with joy. 

“I knew how hard she had worked. I had full belief. I saw her go down and catch it. I was yelling ‘go two, go two.’ She threw to second and next thing I knew I was jumping around. I’m so proud that the win was amazing. I was out of my mind. I wasn’t here. My soul left.” 

Wesson had a few chances to get on the board but did not score a run until the fourth inning. Sanders was intentionally walked, a sacrifice bunt moved her pinch runner to second, a single moved the runner to third, another single loaded the bases. A single by Kenslie Carter into left field scored the first run and the second run scored on a bases loaded walk. 

Cobra batters had seven hits in the win while West Marion had four. Carter finished with two hits and an RBI, Maddie Sanders, Mallory’s eighth grade sister, had two hits as well. 

Mallory struckout 11 batters in seven innings pitched. Out of 108 pitches, 69 of them found the strike zone. Julianna Wilson, Mallory’s senior catcher, has been a huge help to Mallory this season. 

“My catcher is the number one queen. She has helped me so much and she has my back,” Mallory said. “She is my support and a big help for me. She keeps control of the infield and we trust her a lot.” 

Wesson will travel to West Marion Friday night to play game two at 6p.m. If a game three is needed it would be played at Wesson Saturday. Channell said they are trying to make history and go to the south state and then the state championship at Southern Miss. 

Wesson last made the south state championship in 2013. West Marion stands in their way. 

“I have full confidence. I believe we will pull it out. We have it on the back of our shirts ‘it is our year.’” 

Check back tomorrow for a look at how faith and team chemistry are key ingredients for this Wesson team.