HED:Ingomar bats hot in sweep of East Webster
By Bobby Pepper
INGOMAR To keep their aluminum bats warm during a chilly Wednesday afternoon, Ingomar's softball team set them next to a small heater in their dugout.
And when the Lady Falcons stepped up to the plate, they showed how hot their bats were. Ingomar pounded 39 hits as it rolled to a two-game sweep of East Webster, 8-6 and 20-7, in a Class 1A second-round playoff series.
"We wanted to keep the bats warm when we weren't batting, so we set them next to the heater," Ingomar coach Chris Kidd said. "It paid off for us."
Ingomar, last year's 1A state champ, earned the chance to defend its title at the state finals this weekend in Brookhaven. Ingomar plays Union County rival Myrtle in Friday's opening round with the rest of the double-elimination tournament, also featuring Natchez Cathedral and Bogue Chitto, set for Saturday.
"We've had our share of ups and downs this year, but the girls hung in there and have done a good job," Kidd said. "Today, we came out ready to play."
The Lady Falcons (25-11) used their hot hitting to produce big innings in both games to eliminate East Webster (18-6).
In the first game, Ingomar wiped out a 6-3 deficit by scoring five runs with two out in the bottom of the fifth. Andrea Cross' three-run double and Jessica Roberson's two-run triple highlighted the rally.
"They played like the defending state champions," East Webster coach Jerry Greene said. "Ingomar hit the ball good. Their rally in the first game really hurt us."
Ingomar ripped 26 hits in the second game, 10 of them during a 10-run third inning that boosted its lead to 15-2. Mica Browning hit a two-run homer and Kerrianne Ashley added two RBIs with a single while an infield error on Kelly Smithey's grounder scored two more.
"After we got the first win, we came out a little more relaxed for the second game and hit the ball better," Kidd said.
Joanna Floyd and Amanda Barton had five hits apiece and Ashley drove in six runs in the twin bill to lead Ingomar.
Lakisha O'Briant also had a hot bat for East Webster, hitting two home runs over the left-field fence and driving in five runs.