By Zach Adams
Itawamba County Times
BLUE SPRINGS – After two lopsided battles, East Union defeated Mantachie 12-8 Tuesday night in Game 3 of their MHSAA Class 2A opening-round playoff series.
After winning the opening game 22-8 in just five innings, the Lady Urchins looked as though they might run away with the series. The Lady Mustangs fought back, however, winning 8-2 and forcing the decisive contest.
Mantachie overcame an early 5-0 deficit and came within one run of the lead in the third before East Union’s Rebecca Sheffield blasted a solo home run in the bottom of the frame. The Lady Urchins piled on in the fourth and sixth innings before a late Lady Mustang surge came up short in the seventh.
“That series was a classic example of two teams that didn’t want to lose,” East Union coach Josh Blythe said. “I knew how (Mantachie) plays. They have great kids and I can’t say enough about them …
“I knew we had a good chance playing here in front of our home crowd and I’m very tickled for my kids. For them to get to experience this is awesome.”
Mantachie scored four two-out runs in the seventh, but a bases loaded fly ball ended the contest.
Race to the finish
East Union hit five home runs in the opening game and quickly went up 20-0. Katy Hunt went deep twice, while Castillo, Sheffield and Savannah Alexander each notched one home run.
Mantachie controlled Game 2 from the beginning as senior Shelby Kindt hit a pair of home runs.