East Union can end East Webster’s run for a second straight MHSAA Class 2A state slow-pitch softball championship today.
It’s no easy chore for the Lady Urchins, who have won 20 games this season.
“I think it’s a great draw for us,” East Union coach Josh Blythe said. “They’re going to be tough for us. We’ve tried to play quality teams to prepare for this.
“It’s no easy road.”
The East Union-East Webster best-of-three series starts at 5 p.m. All of the games will be played today.
The second round in all classifications is scheduled for Saturday. The North finals are Oct. 20 and the state finals Oct. 24 in Ridgeland.
East Union had hit 51 home runs headed into the final week of the regular season.
Seventh-grade shortstop Rebecca Sheffield has hit 11. Tianna Castillo, an outfielder and the team’s lone senior, and freshman outfielder Raelee Bell, have each hit nine.
“Castillo has had a great year,” Blythe said. “She has been selected to play in the all-star game.”
Sallie Pannell, a junior pitcher, showed some power in the team’s 21-10 win against previously unbeaten 3A foe Mooreville, when she belted three homers. Mooreville had defeated the Lady Urchins 19-9 earlier on East Union’s home field. East Union returned the favor with its road win.
“It was a unique day,” Blythe said. “They had 10-run ruled us that Monday. They hit 10 (home runs) against us at our place. We out hit them 7 to 5 (homers) at their place.
“It was incredible. We were up 21-5. It was a tremendous win for our players. They were excited. It meant a lot for their confidence. We used to dread playing Mooreville, now they expect to have a chance.”
East Union’s four juniors – Pannell, Sheffield, second baseman Kallie Roberts and third baseman Callie Frazier – have contibuted to 100 victories. Sheffield and Frazier have started since the seventh grade.
The remainder of the starters are sophomore catcher Claudia Hill and sophomore outfielder Jayley White. Eighth graders Kaitie Boatner, outfield, and Hannah White, first base, complete the lineup.