Starkville Daily News

Bottom of order helps Lady Wolverines get walk-off home victory


MABEN – Winning a state championsh­ip is one thing, but defending one is a whole new ball game.

That's what the East Webster Lady Wolverine softball team is currently in the process of handling in 2023. Six years since their last title, the Lady Wolverines won the Class 2A crown a year ago. John Harris' new team has returned much production, but new positions for some players and even some new faces makes for some bumps in the road.

“We've been struggling at times just trying to figure things out,” Harris said. “We've had new players at different positions. We've got a good senior group with a lot of experience, but they're being asked to do a lot of different stuff. It takes time to get used to and that's why you've got to make adjustment­s.that's what the early season is for and why I like playing tough teams.”

On Monday night, East Webster saw some of those struggles against a good New Hope team. It was a younger duo that pulled the game out for the Lady Wolverines as two hitters in the bottom of the order got the job done and walked the game off with a 2-1 victory over the Lady Trojans.

Faith Edwards came up to the plate to start the seventh inning and showed bunt on the first three pitches, taking a 2-0 count. On pitch number three, she lined a double over the head of the left fielder for a leadoff double. Nine-hole hitter Jasie Rae Flora came right behind her and laid down a bunt that died perfectly in front of the play and the throw to first was high scoring Edwards from second and winning the game before the lineup even turned over.

“When you face a good pitcher, you've got to keep battling,” Harris said. “We didn't execute early, but defensivel­y you made some plays and gave yourself a chance to win the game. I told them to stay confident and stop beating themselves up.

“We made an adjustment and kept fighting.that's what you've got to do.tough teams are always going to have close games.”

It was a test of wills for the two teams. East Webster made some great plays in the field and kept the Lady Trojans off the board most of the way while New Hope had a dominant night in the circle. The Lady Wolverines scratched across five hits for the night with just Emma Jennings managing more than one hit with a single and double as well as an RBI.

Abby Williams started the game for the Lady Wolverines and

didn't surrender a run before being lifted in the fourth inning for Peyton Flora as Harris was trying to give the offense a different look to disrupt timing.

East Webster got a lead early in the game when Flora led off the bottom of the first with a double and Jennings brought her home with an RBI on the next at-bat.the Lady Wolverines had a few runners on base during the game but couldn't score anyone.

New Hope had its chances as well, but it wasn't until the sixth that the team was able to score. With two outs, a hard hit ball to second base just went off the glove and the runner at second came around to score to tie the game at 1-1.

After Flora had a three-up-three-down inning in the top of the seventh against the first three batters in the lineup, the bottom of East Webster's order came through.

With the win, the Lady Wolverines are now 7-2 this season with six-straight wins. The toughest competitio­n of the early year comes today with a matchup with national power Neshoba Central at East Webster. The team will also play at home against Vardaman on Friday and will play Choctaw County and Saltillo at Ethel on Saturday.

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