Lafayette wins 4A softball series
Lafayette’s fantastic season in softball continued, thanks to a gamble from coach Katie Moore, key hitting from Emily Robinson and the steady arm of Avery McCullough. The Lady Commodores rallied, three times, to defeat Itawamba AHS 12-11 Thursday night at LHS.
The victory moved Lafayette on to the next round, which begins tonight at home, against West Lauderdale.
Lafayette (22-5 overall) earned the victory by finding a way to make plays when needed. McCullough was called in at the start of the fourth inning, with IAHS in control. She was able to slow the Lady Indians down, long enough, for Lafayette to rally. Moore said the plan coming into the contest, a game after McCullough went the distance, was to get her some rest with another series about to start.
“With the weather and everything that’s happened, we’ll play (today) and two on Saturday, so I knew that was in the future,” Moore said. “Just giving her an inning, two innings, if had been the whole game, whatever rest we could go on and be able to give her, I knew would be a plus for her.”
Offensively, the Lady Commodores rode a roller coaster to end up with the win. After falling behind early, for the second straight game, Lafayette scored two runs in both the second and third innings and then six in the fourth. Needing a run to tie the game and force extra innings, and two to win in regulation, Lafayette came through.
“It was a roller coaster. If you’re not ready to have an exciting game, you don’t need to come watch us play. We’re not going to stop. The quote that we had (Wednesday) was iron sharpens iron, another player sharpens another. That’s what we do, we keep on keeping on, no matter what,” Moore said. “I never once doubted them at all. This was the biggest win, for this group, knowing how big it was for them.”
The Lady Commodores were able to celebrate thanks a gutsy call from Moore in the sixth when she asked Moesha Phillips to put down a squeeze bunt, scoring Jada McIntosh, who reached on a single and advanced to third base on a wild pitch.
“That was the first squeeze I ever called there and it couldn’t have been executed better by Moesha and Jada. I couldn’t have asked for a better situation on third with Moe there, the best bunter I got. Then she has the power with that double. That’s why she is so lethal,” Moore said. “Pressure gets to people and I knew those girls would apply it.”
Another key contributor in the win was Robinson, who drove in the game-winning run in the sixth. She tied for the team lead in hits with three and finished with two RBIs.
“I’m in the three hole and I feel like that’s my job. If I can’t execute it, that’s not my game,” Robinson said about coming up with the big hit. “It’s like our momentum kept going and our dugout was all the way. It was just like the Senatobia game, we had to play the same way and just go and get them. We got to keep going and playing like this. I feel like we’re going to make it to state and win it there. This year has been more confidence than I’ve ever seen in my three years.”