TUPELO – Tupelo slow pitch softball coach Josh Hegwood grew up in Calhoun County, where high school rivalries mean everything. He wants to see that same passion in Lee County.
Hegwood’s Lady Wave took a giant step Tuesday creating a rivalry with its 7-4 victory against perennial power Mooreville.
“Any time you beat somebody from your county, even if there’s no trophy on the line, it’s for bragging rights,” Hegwood said. “I’d like this to be a big deal.
“County rivalries matter to me. I think to have a good program, you have to be successful in your county.”
Lady Wave senior pitcher Reagan Aldridge, whose team captured the Division 1-5A/6A regular season title last week, enjoyed beating her rival for the first time this fall. The teams ended their season series 1-1-1.
“It felt good to accomplish this,” she said. “This is a part of what we’ve worked for.”
Tupelo (11-5-1) broke open a close game with a five-hit, five-run fifth inning.
Aldridge, Avery Goggans, Rachel Rooney, Abby Cox and Abby Stafford all had singles in the productive inning for the Lady Wave.
“We’re starting to get hits with runners on base,” Hegwood said. “We’re doing a better job with our base running. We’re not running ourselves out of innings.”
Mooreville had taken a 3-2 lead in the top of the fifth on Hallie Donald’s two-run home run.
Stafford went 3-for-4 to pace Tupelo at the plate.
Mooreville (6-14-1) scored an unearned run on a sacrifice fly by Kelsey Minga in the top of the first to take a 1-0 lead.
Tupelo tied the score at 1-1 in the second on a two-out RBI double by Ali Watts, then made it 2-1 in the third on singles by Goggans and Stafford.