Parklane brought its bats to Jackson Saturday. The Lady Pioneers banged out 27 hits in beating Hillcrest, 15-2 and 7-3, for the MAIS AAAA fast-pitch softball championship.
That was in sharp contrast to three previous games between the teams, all won by Hillcrest behind the pitching of Abbey Busby, 5-0 and 4-2 in the regular season and 2-1 in Thursday’s opening game of the best-of-three championship series.
“The girls came out with a totally different attitude,” said Parklane coach Steve Sasser. “They were determined. They had good quality at bats. I think that was the difference.”
Parklane blew open the first game with a nine-run second inning. Taylor Murray led the onslaught with a homer, two doubles and a single. In the second game, Morgan Webb was the hitting star with three singles and a double and centerfielder Dentini Brown made two big defensive plays.
With the bases loaded and one out for Hillcrest in the first, Brown caught a fly ball from Jordan Barksdale and made a perfect throw home to nail Skylar Patterson attempting to score from third. With two on and two out in the third, Brown made a running catch in deep right center off the bat of Madison Humphreys.
Parklane was able to close out the decisive game, unlike two years ago when Copiah scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh for a 6-5 victory. “That always crosses our mind,” Sasser said with a laugh.
Parklane won six straight games in the tournament while facing elimination. The Lady Pioneers dropped their opening round game to University Academy a week ago, then won four straight in the losers bracket to qualify for the championship series.
For Hillcrest, Grace Self reached base six times in the two games with a homer, three singles and two walks. Busby had two doubles, a single and a walk in the second game.
Silliman completed a sweep with a 6-0 win at Clinton, Louisiana. Kennedy Carruth allowed six hits and Allie Delee hit a two-run homer.
Tri-County overcame a 3-1 deficit at Flora with three runs in the sixth for a 4-3 victory over Heidelberg Academy to complete a series sweep. Alyssa Crigler doubled in two runs to tie the score, then scored the winning run. Sydney Davis went the distance for the win.
Playing at home in Belzoni, Humphrey Academy defeated Central Academy, 17-9 and 8-2. Seventh-grader McKaylee Polk had a triple and a two-run homer in the first game. Her ninth-grade sister, McKenna Polk, was the winning pitcher in both games. Central won the series opener in Macon, 3-1, Wednesday.