County teams battle at North Pontotoc Tournament

ECRU–The Pine Grove Lady Panthers, the Ripley Lady Tigers and the Walnut Lady Wildcats competed recently in the North Pontotoc Fast-Pitch Softball Tournament during Spring Break. The two-day round-robin tournament was held Friday and Saturday with each team playing four games. Ripley posted the best record at 2-2 followed by Pine Grove and Walnut, who both finished 1-4. Pine Grove In Friday’s action, the Lady Panthers (3-6) were shut out in a 4-0 loss to East Union followed by a 9-0 shut out loss to South Pontotoc. On the final day of the tournament, the Lady Panthers were part of history as North Pontotoc’s Megan Nelson pitched her first career perfect game. Nelson retired 15 consecutive batters, seven by strike-out. However, the Lady Panthers bounced back in their final game for a 6-1 victory over Belmont. Coached by Brad Pounders, Pine Grove fields one of the youngest fast-pitch teams in the area. Thirteen of their 20 roster spots are filled with girls in 9th grade or lower, including two 8th graders and two 7th graders. Ripley The Lady Tigers (7-7) split two games on Friday. In game one, the Lady Tigers came back from a 1-0 deficit to edge Lafayette County 2-1. Camille Smith picked up the victory, allowing one hit while striking out 10 batters. Jill Harris scored the winning run on a Carin Johnson one-out RBI single in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Lady Tigers tied the game an inning earlier with an Anna Hamilton two-out double that scored Smith. In game two, the team fell to the Pontotoc Warriors 4-1. The Lady Tigers spilt two on Saturday, falling to East Union 16-1 in three innings before rebounding to better Ingomar 7-2. Walnut The Lady Wildcats (2-7) dropped their first three games of the tournament before picking up their second win of the season. The team fell to North Pontotoc 11-0 and Houlka 6-2 on Friday. Saturday, they were shut out by South Pontotoc 10-0 before their best offensive game of the tournament led to a 3-1 victory over Belmont. In the win, Becky Robinson scored two runs, including an inside the park home run for Walnut’s first run of the game.

Kedrick Storey