From Special Reports
STARKVILLE — Central Academy earned its first fast-pitch softball victory over Starkville Academy Thursday night.
The Lady Vikings left little doubt in the process, rolling to a 12-1, five-inning victory.
“In the big picture, it does not mean a lot since they are triple A and we are single A,” Central coach Sammy Lindsey said. “However, since we had never beaten them before, it was something that we wanted really badly.”
The Lady Vikings (2-0) set the tone early, scoring twice in the first inning. Central extended the lead with four runs in the second inning and would later apply the run rule by scoring five times in the fifth inning.
“We played pretty well,” Lindsey said. “We only had two or three really true base hits. However, we put the ball in play and ran the bases well.
“I thought we played hard and made a lot of smart decisions. We took advantage of what they gave us.”
For Central, Paige Buchanan had a triple and two RBIs. Sadie Lindsey had an infield single and an RBI on a safety squeeze. Cassie Campbell also had a single.
In the circle, freshman Courtney Gaylord went the distance. Gaylord struck out four, while allowing four hits in five innings of work.
“I thought we did a nice job of making the routine plays,” Lindsey said. “I don’t think we will strike a lot of people out this year, so making the plays on defense is really going to be critical.
“That is what I told the players before the season started, the key was for us to play smart, play hard and make all of the plays in the field. We have done a real good job of that so far.”
Starkville Academy (0-3) received a single and double from Mary Austin Barber, two infield hits from Adrienne Futral and a single from Lauren Ware.
Karlie Lockhart drew the start and was lifted after allowing six runs in 1.1 innings of work. Barber finished the contest on the mound, allowing six runs on only one base hit.
Both teams will play Saturday in the Starkville Academy Invitational at the Starkville Sportsplex.
“Our first district game is Monday (at Hebron Christian),” Lindsey said. “Those are the games where you earn your playoff spot.
“So we want to play really well this weekend and use that as momentum.”
Elsewhere Thursday, Winston Academy blanked Oak Hill Academy, 6-0 and Marshall Academy beat Heritage Academy, 12-0.
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.