Juniors split shutout victories

By Melissa Meador/Monroe Journal

ELLISVILLE – The North and the South each pitched a shutout to split in the Mississippi Association of Coaches Junior Fastpitch Softball All-Star Games, but two big innings from the South in the second game spelled the difference.
In Game 1, New Hope’s Lauren Holifield, who was named North MVP, and DeSoto Central’s Lydia Dias combined to hold the South to just three hits to lead the North to a 1-0 win.
Madison Central’s Katie Anne Bailey tripled in the first and scored on a South error to plate the only run of the game. The South left two on base in the third and left Harrison Central’s Taylor Brewer stranded on third in the fifth when she led off the inning being hit by a pitch.
Nettleton’s Anna Kent threw out a runner at third to prevent the game from being tied in the bottom of the seventh.
“It was difficult,” Kent said about playing after a three-week break. “They had the bunt coverages that I wasn’t used to, but I knew she was going to be running.”
The South came roaring back in Game 2, scoring four in the first and five in the fifth on their way to a 11-0 shutout.
Oak Grove’s Constance Quinn started off the scoring with her RBI double, and Brewer knocked in two runs with a single.
In the second, Dias was chased after Clarkdale’s Lauren Thrash and Southeast Lauderdale’s Denisha Knight hit RBI singles, and Quinn notched her second double of the game.
Corinth’s Stennett Smith came on in relief of Dias and threw four innings, giving up one unearned run.
“I was excited to pitch,” Smith said. “I just started back pitching this week, so I was glad to get out there and pitch as well as I could. I really got back in the groove, and it was fun to have such a good defense behind me to pitch with.”
The North had eight hits in the game, including two each from Itawamba’s Haley Moore, who was stranded in the bottom of the seventh, and Wheeler’s April Thompson.