Oak Grove would not let history repeat itself. Nearly a year ago to the day, the Lady Warriors were eliminated in the first round of the softball playoffs. Today, they’re 20-3 and second round bound following a sweep of D’Iberville.
Behind a six-run seventh inning Tuesday night, the Lady Warriors took game one in come-from-behind fashion, 8-3. On Wednesday, in game two, a six-run third keyed Oak Grove’s 11-3 win and the series sweep.
“Our mantra last night and the way home has been to score six, score six,” said Lady Warrior head coach Gary Ivy. “So to be able to go out there and put six up, it’s kind of a confidence-booster.
“We didn’t keep scoring a bunch of runs, but we did keep hitting the ball well. We had a lot of people on base, and that’s a good sign.”
Wednesday’s outburst put Ivy’s team up 7-0 heading into the fourth inning. D’Iberville responded with three unanswered runs in its next two frames to cut the lead to 7-3. But Oak Grove followed with a run in the fifth and three more in the sixth to pull away again and pick up the win.
Alex and Lauren Perren led Oak Grove with three hits apiece. Eight different Lady Warriors drove in at least one run in the win. Lauren Perren and Bethan McCain led with two RBI apiece, while Alex Perren, Umayah Harvey, Ashja Walker, Corinthians Stewart, Hannah Picazo and Ryanne Hornsby each added one.
Hornsby got the start on the mound for Oak Grove and went the distance in picking up her 10th win of the year. Just an 8th grader, Hornsby pitched herself out of several jams, including a bases-loaded situation in the fourth inning.
“She’s a tough kid,” Ivy said of Hornsby. “Sometimes she takes it a little too personal when she’s not getting her pitches called and stuff like that. She’s a battler. We’ve always got a chance when she’s out there.
“I think we played and pitched pretty well. Hey, as long as we stay alive, it’s all good.”
Oak Grove will next face either Harrison Central or St. Martin in the second round of the Class 6A playoffs. Having moved game two against D’Iberville up a day to avoid potential rain, now it’s just a waiting game to see who their next opponent will be. And that’s far from a bad thing, said Ivy.
“We get that extra day of rest and an extra day of work. We’re going to be facing a really good opponent in the next round I’m sure. Not sure who it’ll be yet, but we gotta be ready. We really can’t do anything about who we play, we can only get better ourselves. That’s what we’re going to focus on.”