Copiah Academy won a third consecutive MAIS fast-pitch softball championship in dramatic fashion Monday. Copiah rallied for five runs in the bottom of the seventh for a 6-5 victory over Parklane Academy in the decisive game of the AAA double-elimination tournament.
“It’s just unbelievable,” Lady Colonels coach Terry Bauer said. “These girls never give up. They fight to the very end.”
Parklane seemed in control, leading 5-1 entering the final frame with ace pitcher Hannah Moak on the mound. “I just told them nobody make an out,” Bauer said.
Nobody did. Victoria Allen drew a leadoff walk, Cassidy Brown bounced a single into left and Kaylie Carpenter beat out a bunt to load the bases. One run scored when Moak was called for an illegal pitch, Jordan Jones plated two with a single and Cameron Vanlandingham tied the game with a two-run double.
After Vanlandingham moved to third on a wild pitch, Parklane coach Steve Sasser elected to walk the next two batters to load the bases. With Lindsey Walker at the plate, Moak, who was pitching her 22nd inning of the day, unleashed another wild pitch and Vanlandingham raced home with the winning run.
“It was a typical Copiah-Parklane game,” Sasser said. “We battled each other all year. This is really the way the tournament should have ended with us facing them in a do-all game. My kids played hard and that’s all you can ever ask of them.”
When Parklane and Copiah met early in the day –with both teams 2-0 in the tournament — the Lady Pioneers won 7-6 in nine innings. With the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the ninth, Kelly Byrd hit a line drive right at Parklane third baseman Callie Snow who doubled Carpenter off the base for the win.
Copiah stayed alive with a 4-2 victory over Magnolia Heights on a two-out walkoff homer by Byrd in the the seventh. Copiah then beat Parklane 4-1 as Jones scattered six hits and Byrd had two run-scoring doubles, setting up the winner-take-all final game.
Parklane took a 5-1 lead with three runs in the third on a solo homer by Taylor Murray, her second of the day, and a two-run single by Lauren Moak.
Bayou ended Leake’s three-year run as champion with a 4-0 victory over the Lady Rebels as Ashley Vickers pitched a two-hitter with eight strikeouts.
Franklin Academy won its third championship and first since 2005 with a 12-2 win over Heidelberg Academy.