By Brandon Speck
BALDWYN – Baldwyn is making no bones about where it wants to spend the final Saturday of October: Ridgeland.
But the Lady Bearcats also know how tough that is. Jorda Waters, one of eight seniors, says they talk about it – often.
“Every practice, every at-bat we take like we’re getting to Jackson,” Waters said.
Baldwyn took a step in the right direction Tuesday with sweep of Walnut in the opening round of the 2A slow pitch playoffs.
With wins of 11-2 and 13-2, Baldwyn advances to face the winner of the Leland-South Delta series.
Waters hit a 3-run home run to break a 2-all tie in Game 1. Maggie Martin and Sheneria Tyes singled before the blast. Baldwyn (24-2) added four more in the fifth, two of them on RBI singles from Waters and Hayley Sandlin.
Baldwyn is trying to get to the state championship series for the first time, after two or three North finals appearances. Coach Jessica Taylor isn’t sure on the number – fast-pitch North finals is a similar figure – but that’s not the figure they’re focused on.
“This is great to them, but they’re looking to go to state,” Taylor said. “That’s where they want to be. This is just a bump in the road on the way and they know that.”
Walnut had a chance to take an early lead in the six-inning Game 2 loss. But Taylor Smith’s leadoff single was eventually stranded as runners at second and third.
Baldwyn took a 6-0 lead in the second, thanks to eight singles, RBI singles from Paige Wood, Julie Grimes, Mackenzie Riley and Tyes. Four players had three hits each in the 21-hit win.
Sandlin (24-2) got both wins. Walnut was outhit 35-10.
“We just didn’t execute. That’s been our struggle,” Walnut coach Kelley Hopper said. “Baldwyn’s a great team.”