By Austin Bishop
The Winston County Journal
Nanih Waiya traveled to Ridgeland last weekend looking for a softball tournament, but instead a gun show broke out. The big guns, that is.
The Lady Warriors hammered out 26 hits, including three homers, to power their way to a sweep of West Union in the MHSAA Class 2A Fast-Pitch Softball State Championship series.
“They hit like I knew they were capable of,” said Nanih Waiya head coach Jennifer Holdiness. “They really rallied behind our three seniors. They wanted to win this because of them,” she said of Bridget Hunt, Kara Lane Nowell and Megan Robinson.
Despite falling behind in both games to West Union, Holdiness said her Lady Warriors never seemed to get rattled.
“Even when we were down 4-0 in the first game it was like, ‘Okay, we have it,’” she said. “I never doubted we could do it and we came through.”
Nanih Waiya rallied from that four-run deficit to win Friday’s opener 15-6 and then trailed twice on Saturday before taking a solid 13-7 victory to win the series with a two-game sweep.
One of the big blows on Friday came when Ryan Holdiness mashed a three-run homer to tie the game at 4-4 in the third inning. Nanih Waiya then followed that up with seven in the fourth to take control of the game.
“I think our nerves just got to us a little at the beginning of the first game, but Ryan settled in and pitched a good game and then she hit that home run and tied it. Then we just took control.”
Nowell banged out three doubles and a single to lead Nanih Waiya offensively in the opener, while Brantlie Sheets had a single and double and Marlee Parkes and Hunt had two singles each.
Ryan Holdiness homered for the Lady Warriors, while Reagan Holdiness doubled and Robinson added a single. Ryan Holdiness struck out eight and walked just one, to pick up the win on the mound.
Sheets got the pitching win in game two for the Lady Warriors, while Holdiness earned the save by pitching the last two innings.
After banging out 12 hits in game one, the Lady Warriors followed it up with 14 on Saturday to take the six-run win.
West Union led 3-1 in the top of the third and 5-3 in the top of the fourth, before the Lady Warriors exploded for eight runs in the fourth. Ryan Holdiness and Sheets had a homer and two singles each for Nanih Waiya in the game.
Mackenzie Johnson had a double and two singles and scored three runs for the winners, while Reagan Holdiness popped a double and single and Robinson, Nowell and Kaytlyn Burrage added a single each.