Daily Journal

MOOREVILLE – Nettleton can play long ball, too.

Second baseman Lauren Hall blasted three home runs, including two grand slams in the opener, to power Nettleton to a two-game sweep of Mooreville in the MHSAA Class 3A slow-pitch softball state semifinals.

The Tigers (20-8), in their first season under coach Jacob Kidd, won 28-13 in Game 1, then used homers by Briana Holland and Brittany Adams to sink the Lady Troopers 15-5 in five innings.

“Sometimes, when you come into a new place, you do what they do,” said Hall, a junior, who has hit 11 homers this season. “Mooreville’s hit plenty of home runs here. I just squared up on the ball.”

Mooreville (23-3) walked Hall four times in Game 2.

Kidd, who replaced Dana Rhea as coach when Rhea went to Tupelo, knew his team was the heavy underdog coming into the series.

“Nobody in this state expected us to win,” he said. “I knew if we came in with the right mindset we could win.”

Nettleton returns to the state championship series, scheduled for Saturday in Ridgeland, for the second straight season. They’ll have a rematch against Philadelphia, the defending state champion.

Mooreville hit four home runs in Game 2, including two by slugging shortstop Hallie Donald, but the Troopers couldn’t put the hits together.

Nettleton had 26 hits in the opener and 17 in Game 2.

“They hit the ball really well and we didn’t respond,” said Mooreville coach Perry Wilburn, whose team hit 40-plus homers this season.

Hall’s first grand slam, which came in the second inning of Game 1, helped Nettleton build a 7-1 lead.

Mooreville rallied to close the gap to 11-9 through three innings, with Donald’s grand slam in the second being the key hit.

Nettleton led 14-12 after five innings, then put the game away with a 14-run sixth. Hall, who had 10 RBIs, hit her second slam in the big inning.

Twitter: @genephelps

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