East Webster softball plays for right to advance to state

Emily Nason slides for East Webster.
Staff Writer

East Webster's slow pitch softball team may be going on the road Tuesday night, but it's in a spot that the Lady Wolverines have become comfortable for nearly a decade.

Tuesday will be the sixth-consecutive slow pitch North State or South State series and East Webster has become accustomed to winning those. Last year the Lady Wolverines won another state championship in Class 2A, but the changes in divisions will make it increasingly difficult for them this year as they compete in Class I with teams from other classifications around the state.

As usual, though, East Webster has just played the hand it has been dealt. This is the third-straight series for the Lady Wolverines on the road and a win in two games Tuesday night will have them back in Ridgeland on Saturday.

“It just shows the consistency of the girls,” East Webster head coach Lee Berryhill said. “They buy in on what we want to do and I give them all the credit. It’s a testament to them.”

Berryhill feels that this year’s team has overcome the most adversity of any that he’s coached in recent memory. The group had to replace some great players from a year ago and several others had to change positions. Last year’s fast pitch Player of the Year in the area Jessica Davis is making a bid to take home SDN Slow Pitch Player of the Year this season with 27 home runs this year and a batting average well over .500.

Davis had to move to shortstop from her usual second base to help the team and has gotten better and better defensively as things have progressed.

That’s the case for the entire team, which started the year 1-3 before getting things under control. Since then the Lady Wolverines are 20-3 and have gone 6-1 in the first three rounds of the playoffs in wins over West Union, Smithville and Myrtle.

“Throughout the year, we’ve been up and down,” Berryhill said. “We hit a 10-game streak where we were pretty hot and consistent. They fight for what they’ve got and found ways to move on. It’s all about continuing to get better and that’s what we’ve done.

Hamilton has been two of the team’s losses this season as the Lady Lions won the division and knocked off the Lady Wolverines 16-5 and 17-1. Berryhill is expecting a packed house on the road Tuesday night in Monroe County at 5 p.m. for a best-of-three series. He’s hoping his players stay the course and realize that all it takes is one good night.

“Hamilton is solid 1-10 offensively and defensively," Berryhill said. "Year in and year out they’re consistent and that’s what gets you where you’re at and where you want to be. We have to play to win and not to lose and be aggressive. We’ve got to control our emotions and play between the fences.”