CLINTON – It’s on to the MHSAA 6A North final for the Tupelo softball team, thanks to a 4-0 record when facing elimination.
After dropping the opening game to Clinton on Monday in the best-of-three series, the Lady Wave rebounded with 1-0 and 9-1 victories Tuesday evening. In the previous round, Tupelo came back to beat Desoto Central.
“It show a lot of resilience, a lot of heart, a lot of desire and a lot of want,” said coach Dana Rhea, who team improved to 24-8. “We’ve finally started playing as a team.”
Next up for Tupelo – which has never won a fast-pitch state title – is Madison Central, beginning Friday at Tupelo.
Rhea said he doesn’t know much about the Jaguars. “We try to take it one game at a time, one team at a time, one out at a time. All that good stuff.”
Clinton had nine hits off of Ivy Watts, at least one in every inning, but stranded eight runners and had the tying run thrown out at the plate in the bottom of the seventh.
Tupelo scored its only run in the fourth on singles by Lauren Knight, Katie Rieves and freshman Kat Knight.
The decisive game was much easier for the Lady Wave behind a 14-hit attack.
After taking a 1-0 lead on an unearned run in the second, Tupelo broke it open with four runs on four hits – a double by Kat Knight and singles by Watts, Lehman and Alisha Graf – in the third. Kat Knight added a two-run double in the sixth.
Clinton (19-12) scored its run on a two-out single in the sixth.
Watts went the distance for her second win of the day, allowing seven hits with five strikeouts and three walks. At the plate, she had four singles and a double in the two games.