Lady Mohawks Advance to Regional Softball Play

Thursday, May 8, 2014
As Lady Mohawk pitcher Devyn Staples (left) looks on, Taylor Choate fires a shot to first baseman Melinda Blackmon during the Tribe's win over Manila.

The Piggott Lady Mohawks advanced to regional softball tournament play Thursday afternoon, notching a 6-3 win over Manila in the 3A-3 district tournament at Corning. With the victory the Tribe advanced to the semi-finals, where they dropped an 11-1 decision to top-seeded Rivercrest on Friday evening. But, by virtue of their final-four finish in conference, the Lady Mohawks will be playing at 10 a.m. Friday, May 9 in their first round regional tournament game.

Thursday's show-down with the Lady Lions was the third meeting of the season between the two teams, with the first two also going to the Tribe. With ace sophomore Devyn Staples on the mound, Coach Nikki Speer's team was ready and rose to the occasion.

The Lady Lions drew first blood in the first inning of play, and took a 1-0 lead in the contest. The Tribe was unable to respond in the home half of the inning, and neither team was able to get a runner aboard in the second frame. In the third inning both squads got their lead-off hitter aboard, but both were stranded and the score remained 1-0 entering the pivotal fourth inning.

In the top of the fourth the Lady Lions plated another run to make it 2-0, but the Tribe responded in the bottom half of the frame. With runners at second and third senior Taylor Davis delivered a double to tie the ballgame, then advanced to third on the throw home. Two more Mohawks reached by way of a walk, and hit by pitch, and MaKalia Beck served-up a seeing-eye double down the third base line to score two more and make it a 4-2 Piggott advantage.

Manila got a two-out single in the fifth, but was unable to score as Staples sat down the remainder of the side. In the home half of the inning the Lady Mohawks got several quality at-bats, including a 3:48 plate appearance by Melinda Blackmon which resulted in a walk. During the frame they plated two more insurance runs, and took a 6-2 lead into the sixth.

The Lady Lions scored once more late, but stranded two more as the game drew to a close and the Lady Mohawks posted the 6-3 decision.

On Friday afternoon the Tribe ran into the tough Lady Colts, and dropped an 11-1 decision to finish fourth in the bracket.

But, the victory does earn the Tribe a trip to the Region 3 softball tournament being held this week at Harrison Parks and Recreation, and hosted by Bergman High School. The Mohawks will be taking on the winner of 3A-1 East with first pitch set for 10 a.m. Friday morning. A victory in the first round will earn the Lady Mohawks a trip to the state softball tournament, also being held at Harrison. With a victory in the first round the Tribe would advance to play at noon on Saturday, with the regional championship set for 2 p.m. on Monday, May 12.

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