Lady Bearcats snag elusive state championship

Chris Todd | Buy at photos.djournal.com Coach Jessica Taylor celebrates with her Baldwyn Lady Bearcats after winning their first slow-pitch state championship on Saturday in Ridgeland.

Chris Todd | Buy at photos.djournal.com
Coach Jessica Taylor celebrates with her Baldwyn Lady Bearcats after winning their first slow-pitch state championship on Saturday in Ridgeland.

By Brandon Speck

Daily Journal

RIDGELAND – Baldwyn coach Jessica Taylor didn’t know what to do with her emotions. Senior Maggie Martin couldn’t stop crying.

Both of them, along with the rest of the Baldwyn Lady Bearcats, were celebrating after sweeping East Webster 8-4 and 6-1 for the 2013 MHSAA Class 2A state slow-pitch championship on Saturday at Freedom Ridge Park.

“There’s no other feeling … I mean there’s feeling in the world; I do have a child I love more than anything, but with softball terms, it’s the best thing that can happen,” Taylor said. “It’s a dream come true.”

Baldwyn – North runners-up the last three seasons – won its first title in its first appearance here.

“We knew we had to get it done,” said one of eight seniors, Sam Phillips. “We knew after that first game, we had the momentum.”

Two-out hits got it done in the opener. Tied at 4 with two down in the fifth, Baldwyn (31-2) had five straight singles, including RBI hits from pitcher Hayley Sandlin and a two-run single from Shelby Blackwell. Jorda Waters finished 3-for-4 with three RBI. Sheneria Tyes was 4-for-4 with an RBI double.

“Coming so far every year, then not making it, it hurt,” senior Mackenzie Riley said. “But it’s worth it all now.”

Paige Flemings had four hits, including an RBI double, for East Webster (24-8).

In Game 2, Tyes had a pair of triples. Baldwyn scored four in the first on triples from Tyes and Martin and singles from Sandlin and Paige Wood. Baldwyn totaled 29 hits, two ground-rule doubles and three triples on the 250-foot field.

“My girls played tremendous,” Taylor said. “First game we made a couple errors, but we played so well, we could afford that. This year’s team can afford to make a couple errors because we are so consistent through the lineup hitting.”

brandon.speck@journalinc.com