By Saturday afternoon, it was the Corinth Lady Warriors, however, who grabbed the Lady Troopers’ undivided attention.
A young Corinth team that finished second in Division 1-3A gave the Lady Troopers all they could handle before succumbing on the road in the last at-bat of a best-of-three Class 3A first-round playoff series.
Vic White singled in Brittani Berry with the series-winning run in the bottom of the seventh of Saturday afternoon’s 3-2 Game 3 win.
The Lady Troopers will next play Winona in this week’s quarterfinals.
“Corinth’s got a great ballclub. We knew that coming in,” said Mooreville coach Perry Wilburn. “They got everything they need: They play good defense; they hit the ball really well.
“It came down to whoever got the break in the end to win it. We got lucky and we got that break.”
The Lady Troopers took Game 1, 5-1, in Corinth on Friday night, and had chances to pull off the sweep but left three runners in scoring position during Saturday’s Game 2.
In the second game of the series, Corinth started a rally with two outs in the top of the seventh and scored its pair of go-ahead runs on Portia Patterson’s double to the center field wall. Stennett Smith got the final three outs in the seventh to earn her 12th win of the season as she went the distance, striking out three, scattering six hits and walking two.
Corinth battles back
“We didn’t play our best ball” on Friday night said Corinth coach Janna LaBarreare, whose starting lineup features four sophomores, two eighth-graders and one seventh-grader. “I don’t know if we were a little intimidated because we were young ... because it was some of our younger players’ first opportunity or time to start in a playoff game like that.
“But they came back today (Saturday) and they battled and they fought, and that’s what I’m most proud of.
“They fought and competed through every pitch and every play, and that’s a lot to say. They could have just came over and laid down, but they didn’t.”
In Game 3, though, pitcher Teri Richey (five strikeouts), Skylar Gregory (two hits, RBI), Lauren Lewis (triple, run scored), White (two hits, RBI) and the rest of the Lady Troopers proved to be too tough to overcome.
“Today, we just didn’t hit the ball like I thought we should, but you gotta give them credit with their good pitching,” Wilburn said.
n Game summaries, Page 2B