The Lady Rams got a slow start against South Pontotoc Saturday in the Houston Classic, but when they got cranked up, they came on strong.
After a scoreless first inning from both sides, the Lady Cougars broke things open in the top of the second with senior Victoria Dunavay’s lead off single and Lacey Higgins moved her over with a single past third. Johnnia Kendrick made the connection for a double to plate Dunavay and Shelby Luther doubled to send Higgins across.
The bats kept ringing with a single from Heather Berry and a sac fly from Gayle Holcomb for an RBI. Eden Bowen’s final RBI single in the inning put the Lady Cougars at 6-0 over the Lady Rams and Higgins’ solo homer in the third moved them to 7-0 but the Vardaman girls hadn’t gotten started yet.
“The first inning or two I think they were shell-shocked,” said Vardaman coach Billy Dill. “Then they got rolling.”
Sydney Huffman doubles to get things going and Madison Bullard’s single scored courtesy runner, Laquita Hatchett, for the Lady Rams first run. Jessica Rodgers singled and Cheyenne McKiney walked and Abby Haire’s fly, combined with a South error sent courtesy runner, Maegan Stroup across the plate. Laci Jo Fugett got the clutch hit with a double to score McKiney and courtesy runner, Lainey Jo Landreth, and Johnna Landreth reached on a walk.
Senior Grace Edmondson’s two RBI rip to the left field fence tied the game and Huffman repeated her double to give the Vardaman girls a one-run lead.
The battle was on in the fifth as Luther’s RBI double tied it back up and Breanna Holley’s RBI double to centerfield regained the Lady Cougars’ lead.
Vardaman’s Stacie Haimes bounced one off the left field fence to score Rodgers and tie the game one more time.
The final inning belonged to the Lady Cougars as Brooke Lilly’s doubled and Kinzi Ellis walked on to set up Higgins’ second homer of the game, this one a three RBI shot over the left field fence.
The Lady Cougars’ defense held the Lady Rams at the plate for a 12-9 win.
Dill said he was pleased with the overall effort from the Lady Rams.
“To score nine runs on South is pretty decent,” Dill said. “Compared to last year (at Houston Classic) we’re a lot better.”
Vardaman 1, Caledonia 3
The Lady Rams dropped their second game, again by a close margin, falling 1-6 to the Lady Confederates of Caledonia.
The Lady Rams began the regular season in South Pontotoc Tuesday and will be back in Houston Thursday. JV plays at 5 p.m. and varsity follows at 6 p.m.