By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
RIDGELAND – West Union came out firing, then couldn’t extinguish an outbreak of errors. The Lady Eagles committed five crucial errors and suffered a 15-6 loss to Nanih Waiya on Friday night in Game 1 of the MHSAA Class 1A fastpitch championship series.
Game 2 of the best-of-three series is scheduled for 10 a.m. today.
“They’ve got to focus and regroup and come back in with the attitude that it’s not over,” West Union coach Lisa Bogue said.
At Freedom Ridge Park, West Union (25-7) scored four runs in the bottom of the first inning. Hannah McQuary, Gracen Conlee and Jodie McMillen had RBI singles and another run crossed as Jesslyn Brewer reached on one of two Nanih Waiya errors.
West Union’s error problems came in a seven-run fourth for Nanih Waiya. Starting Nanih Waiya pitcher Ryan Holdiness had tied the game at 4 with a 3-run home run in the third inning. In the fourth, a leadoff double was followed by a pair of singles, a two-run error and one of Kara Lane Nowells’ three doubles. Another run-scoring miscue put the Lady Warriors (27-6-1) ahead 11-4.
Nanih Waiya coach Jennifer Holdiness saw her team dominate a Game 1 against Cathedral last season in South state and lose the next two. She told her team after the game that the West Union team they saw in the first inning could be the one they face tomorrow.
“Don’t take them lightly. They’re going to fight. They’re a good hitting team,” she said.
The Lady Eagles’ fifth error led to a run in the fifth inning and Nowell drove in her second run. West Union added runs on RBI singles from Bailey Bogue and Callie Baggett.
Holdiness improved to 14-3. Brittany Taylor, who tripled in the fourth inning, fell to 18-4 on the season.
West Union had its back against the wall last week after losing the second North state game to Smithville.
“They’ve got it in them. They’ve done it before,” Bogue said.