Senior night is a night set aside to honor those players who will be leaving their team after this year, to celebrate years bonding as teammates, going through wins and losses and hopefully celebrating another win as a team. Thursday night, the MHS Lady Bulldogs hosted their cross-county neighbor, the Sneads Lady Pirates and had a much tighter game than they had in mind. Marianna pulled off the slimmest of wins, 4-3 to move to 22-3 on the season. Sneads fell to 17-7 on the season but had a feeling of accomplishment with a much tighter game than they played one month earlier when errors plagued the team in their 9-3 loss to Marianna.
For the cross-county match, Sneads coach Shawn Graham went to his aces, Hannah Stephens and Marissa Baxter. Stephens went two and a third innings, gave up four runs, three earned on four hits, three walks and struck out one batter. Baxter went three and two-thirds innings, gave up no runs on one hit, one walk, and struck out four batters. Marianna’s coach Scott Wiggins countered with his ace, Chloe Temples. Temples threw a complete game, gave up three runs on five hits, three walks, while fanning seven batters.
Sneads had the crowd on their feet in the top of the first inning when Michaela Edenfield went yard on the fourth pitch she saw from Temples. It sailed straight across the centerfield fence. With two outs, Abbie McIntosh singled but a line out to first ended the inning. Marianna answered with a run to tie the game at one. With one out, Deana Holland reached on an error and stole second base. Chloe Temples singled to score Holland before moving to second on an error. With two outs, Sydnee Goodson singled before a flyout to right field ended the inning.
Sneads was three up, three down in the top of the second inning. Marianna had a one-out walk to Anni Beebe for their only baserunner of the inning.
For the second inning in a row, the Lady Pirates went down one, two, three. Marianna picked up their final three runs in their half of the third inning. Deana Holland led off with a walk and stole second before Chloe Temples took advantage of a free pass to put runners at first and second. A double steal put both runners in scoring position for an RBI single by Gabby Bess that scored Holland. Temples scored on an error before Kennedy Harris ground into a fielder’s choice where everyone was safe with Bess scoring on the play. With two outs, Ashtyn Jeter singled, followed by Aisley Patterson-Rhodes taking one for the team. The bases were left full when the next batter ground out to second.
Sneads had opportunity in the fourth inning but could not execute a run across the plate. Marissa Baxter drew a leadoff walk but was out on an attempted steal of second. With two outs, Ayleen Faria took one for her team and moved to second when Kiara Garrett drew a walk. Amber Clark drew a walk to load the bases but a strikeout ended the inning. Marianna went down in order in the bottom half of the frame.
In the top of the fifth, Najah Dudley drew a leadoff walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Abby Perkins. A ground ball by Michaela Edenfield move Dudley to third but a groundout ended the inning with her on the bag. Marianna was held to a leadoff single by Sydnee Goodson in the bottom of the frame.
A two-out single by Kiara Garrett was the only baserunner for Sneads in the sixth inning. Marianna managed a walk to Deana Holland in the sixth but she was left on second when the final out was made.
Sneads rallied in the seventh inning with two runs crossing the plate, however fell short of a comeback. With two outs, Abby Perkins singled and crossed the plate when Michael Edenfield sailed her second homerun of the evening over the right centerfield fence. The next batter flew out to second to end the inning and the game.