By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
ENTERPRISE – Lisa Bogue was concerned her West Union team’s week-long layoff might come into play in Monday’s key division game.
Bogue’s Lady Eagles won Division 2-1A with a 13-1 victory in five innings against visiting Myrtle and clinched a first-round bye in the upcoming high school fastpitch softball state playoffs.
West Union (15-6, 7-0) plays its final division game today against Ingomar, but the outcome will not affect the Lady Eagles’ top seeding for the postseason.
“I was worried about the long layoff, but we came out relaxed and ready to play,” Bogue said. “I was definitely concerned.”
West Union beat Myrtle 12-7 in their first meeting earlier this season.
Sophomore right-hander Brittany Taylor, who started at shortstop in last season’s 1A state championship series loss to Bogue Chitto, recorded six strikeouts and three-hit the Lady Hawks (11-10, 6-2).
Taylor confused the Myrtle batters mixing her curveball and screwball.
“I thought we played a lot better on defense than we did the last time we played them,” she said. “I thought we hit a lot better, too.”
West Union reached Myrtle left-hander Audrey Kent for 10 hits, including two apiece from Julianna Garner, Hannah McQuary and Ashley Whittington, the team’s lone senior.
The only player with an extra base hit in the game was Myrtle’s Keely Chunn, who led off the fifth inning with a triple and scored her team’s lone run.
Taylor helped her cause with a two-run single in the Lady Eagles’ five-run third. McQuary’s two-run single and RBI singles by Jesslyn Brewer and Garner highlighted the eight-run fourth.
Postseason begins friday
Myrtle and Ingomar will enter the playoffs as the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds. The postseason’s first round starts Friday with a single game and Saturday doubleheader, if necessary.
All top seeds receive an opening-round bye and don’t play until April 27.
“We’re going to have to get some creative practices going during the layoff,” said Bogue, who returned seven starters from the 2011 state finals club. “We’ve got to keep them focused and ready.”