By Brandon Speck
Itawamba AHS did it in basketball. Why not softball?
No one expected much from the Lady Indians in either sport this season, especially after a 1-5 fast-pitch start. But after winning three of their last four games …
IAHS opened Division 1-4A play with two wins, against Corinth and at Pontotoc. Like hoops, the division road is tough, also featuring a potential 4A favorite in Amory and tough Tishomingo County.
“That’s two big wins for us, against two real top quality teams in our division,” IAHS coach Rodney Moore said. “And we’re a young team.”
The Lady Indians lost six starters from a year ago.
“This is not supposed to be our year,” Moore said, “but these girls are working hard, playing hard and I can’t be more excited about these girls. They believe.”
The slow start came without the help of the basketball players, who led the school to its first basketball state title since 1952.
Those girls returned last week, including leading hitter Jamyia Hill. Moore said the late arrivals helped his team grow up. The Lady Indians (5-7) have only two seniors, starters Hill and Maddie Forrest. Outfielder Bree Stewart and pitcher Taylor Cresap are the only juniors.
Itawamba’s next three are division games, a home-and-away with Shannon and at Tishomingo County to open April.
Moore isn’t bothered that his team is hitting just over .302, because the hits are coming where and when they need them.
Hill, a senior, leads the team with a .457 batting average. Cresap’s three home runs and 11 RBIs are both team-highs. Forrest is batting .400 with team-highs four doubles and 16 hits, as well as two triples and a pair of home runs.
The team’s sixth home run came off the bat of sophomore Kayla Norris.
“A bunch of teams doubt us because we’re young,” Norris said. “That just gives us more motivation.”