Lady Wolverines topple Hilltoppers in softball

Staff Writer

Lee Berryhill wasn’t exactly sure what was going to become of his slow pitch team this season and he still isn’t willing to make any predictions.

The multi-time area Coach of the Year does know that his players have responded well out of the gates this season.

The young bunch from Cumberland were matched up with a lethal lineup from Houston on Tuesday night filled with experience and talent. Among those players was Mississippi State commitment Aquana Brownlee, who hit a three-run home run in the game.

That home run wasn’t enough to out-duel the Lady Wolverines as they pounded out 11 hits and beat the Lady Hilltoppers 10-8 in the home opener this season.

“It’s a good early season win," Berryhill said. "You look at Houston and they have a lot of upperclassmen with a good defense on the field and solid offensively. We come into the year with a lot of unknowns and I don’t really know what to expect early in the season. We’re just trying to find consistency and we put something together (Tuesday).”

During the 11-hit barrage, East Webster had three players manufacture three hits each led by Katelee Box and Sydney Dewberry’s 3-for-4 night and two RBI and Lexi Crenshaw’s 3-for-4 evening with an RBI of her own.
Abby Williams added one hit with two runs driven in during the game as the Lady Wolverines put together their best offensive game early in the year.

The offense needed to be good early after falling behind 2-0 in the second inning and they battled back to score three in the bottom of the frame. It was led off with three-straight hits as Dewberry’s double set up a two-run single from Williams and a sacrifice fly gave East Webster a lead it wouldn’t lose at 3-2.

The Lady Wolverines scored another run in the third and three each in the fourth and fifth inning to expand that lead out to 10-2, but the Lady Hilltoppers wouldn’t go away. In the sixth inning, Houston had four-straight RBI with two outs and were set for another before a runner was thrown out at the plate on a double to the wall.

At 10-5, that out proved to be critical.

Houston got two runners on base in the seventh and Brownlee smashed a no-doubter over the right field fence for a three-run shot to cut the lead to 10-8. The tying run came to the plate with two down before the Lady Wolverines got an out on the bases to end it.

Though it was a roller coaster there at the end, Berryhill was proud of how his girls found a way to win against last season’s Class 3A fast pitch state champions. He was especially proud of how the offense came alive.

“It gives them some confidence,” Berryhill said of the offensive evening. “We need to expect to win ballgames. Wins like (Tuesday) can bring us together and build that confidence. We need to keep moving forward and not step back.”

East Webster (3-0) puts its undefeated streak on the line as it goes on the road this Thursday to South Pontotoc. The Lady Wolverines play a varsity game at 4:30 p.m.