By Austin Bishop
The Webster Progress-Times
East Webster softball coach Lee Berryhill hates looking ahead. But at this point, he really doesn’t have much choice.
All that stands between Berryhill’s Lady Wolverines and a second straight MHSAA Class 2A State Fast-Pitch Softball Championship is two wins. EW will try to pick up the first one on Friday night at Freedom Ridge Park in Ridgeland as they take on the 2A South Champion Lady Tartars of Taylorsville at 6 p.m. The second game of the best-of-three series is set for 10 a.m. on Saturday, with the third game to be played if needed at a yet-to-be-determined time on Saturday.
“I think having been here before will help us a little,” said Berryhill of his Lady Wolverines, who swept Hatley 4-3, 7-0 last weekend to claim the 2A North State title. “We have been there and been through that atmosphere. It’s not new to us.”
The opponent, however, is.
East Webster’s 2013 2A Fast-Pitch title came over Enterprise, then last fall the Lady Wolverines lost to EHS in the finals of the slow-pitch championship. On Tuesday night Taylorsville completed a sweep of Enterprise to reach the 2A title series.
“It’s not a team we are very familiar with,” Berryhill said. “They do have a very good pitcher, but you expect that at this point in the season.”
Berryhill said there isn’t a whole lot of new things that can be done in preparation for playing for a state title. “You just keep practicing and working,” he said. “We are fairly healthy and pretty well rested. Now we just need to get focused on what we have to do.”
The Lady Wolverines took care of business against Hatley last week in two straight games. East Webster used a two-run homer by Autumn Frost to take an early lead in the series opener, then held off Hatley to take the 4-3 win.
The second game saw EW score five runs in the first inning thanks to run-producing singles by Kendall Wilkinson, Krista Ellis and Kandler Flora. Jennah Pate and Madison Flemings added RBI singles later in the game to push the Lady Wolverines to their 7-0 win.
“Our girls just did a good job of making the plays, getting big hits when they had too, and making pitches when they had too,” Berryhill said. “Our pitching and our defense has all come together.
“The girls have done a great job all year. I just hope we can finish it out,” he said.