Neshoba Central gets best of West
By By Marty Stamper / EMG sports assistant
Aug. 20, 2003
PHILADELPHIA Something had to give when a pair of unbeaten Top 5-ranked slow-pitch softball teams collided Tuesday afternoon at Neshoba Central.
Neshoba Central, ranked No. 3 in the state entering this week, used a three-run fifth frame to knock off No. 5 West Lauderdale 4-3 at Lady Rockets Field.
Neshoba Central improved to 8-0, and West Lauderdale fell to 3-1.
West took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, as Kirby Rutledge reached on an error and scored on a two-out single by Katie Moulds.
The Lady Rockets pulled even in the bottom of the first, as Jessi Nowell led off with a single and came home on winning pitcher Lindsey Smith's double to right field.
Nowell finished 3-for-3 to lead the Lady Rockets' nine-hit attack.
Neshoba Central took a 4-1 lead with three runs in the bottom of the fifth. Allison McDaniels led off with a triple to left-center and gave the Lady Rockets a 2-1 lead when she scored on a single by Whitney White.
Leah Dennis and Nowell followed with singles with Samantha Giambrone adding a sacrifice fly for a 4-1 lead.
The Lady Knights rallied for a pair of runs in the top of the sixth. Moulds had a one-out double with pinch runner Sydney Cagle scoring on a triple to right field by losing pitcher Sommer Jones. Courtesy runner Brooke Lee came home on Emily Jo Havard's single.
West had the tying run at third base with two outs in the top of the seventh, but Rutledge was unable to score before Smith (8-0) recorded the final out.
West had eight hits. Moulds finished the game with two singles and a double, and Jones added a single and a triple.
At one point, Smith retired eight batters in a row over the middle innings.
McDaniels and White both had two hits for Neshoba Central, with one of McDaniels' being a three-bagger.