IUKA – Those pop-ups Jerry Long despises so much helped his Tishomingo County team win Tuesday against visiting Tupelo.
The Lady Braves, thanks to four fly balls and a two-run single to center field by Jessica Kramer, rallied for four runs in the fifth inning to defeat the Lady Wave 7-5 in slow-pitch softball.
“I’m begging them not to hit pop-ups and they wind up falling in,” Long said, then laughed. “I’d rather be lucky than good.”
One of the Lady Braves’ fly balls was dropped by a Tupelo outfielder for an error, but three others slipped in for hits.
Tupelo coach Michael Gable said he had his outfielders playing deep to respect Tishomingo County’s power.
“Instead, they mis-hit and pop up,” he said. “A couple of those we should have made plays on. Later in the season we will.”
Tishomingo County, whose lineup features eight seniors, improved to 7-1 on the young season.
The younger Lady Wave club saw its record dip to 2-5.
Tupelo took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on Katie Cole’s single. The third baseman led the Wave with three hits, all singles.
When the dust cleared in the second inning, Tupelo had upped its lead to 5-0 thanks to base hits by Cole, Tori Smith, Reagan Aldridge, Sam McAlister, Ashley Burgett and Mollie Tidwell.
“In slow-pitch you can’t depend on scoring runs in the first and second inning,” Gable said. “To win you’ve got to keep scoring.”
Long, who saw his team commit an error in Tupelo’s big inning, chalked it up to “one of those days.”
He added, “We knew Tupelo would be good. We had enough guts to come back. I thought our pitcher (sophomore Emilee Henderson) did a good job keeping us in the game. It could have gotten out of hand.”
The Lady Braves cut Tupelo’s lead to 5-3 in the third on singles by Danielle Blakney and Kayla Sanderson, a two-run single by Ragan Berry and a sacrifice fly by Henderson.
Tabi Talley paced Tishomingo County with three singles.