Jones, Lady Rams tough out Game 1 win

·2 min read

May 17—HATTIESBURG — Makynlie Jones showed her veteran savvy Tuesday afternoon.

The senior pitcher muscled through seven innings in the circle, and she scored the go-ahead run as Vardaman topped Taylorsville 4-2 in Game 1 of the Class 1A state championship series.

Game 2 is Thursday at 3 p.m.

Jones (17-4) overcame a rough start and six walks, shutting out Taylorsville over the final six innings.

"I was a little nervous at first. I don't know why, but I really was," Jones said. "It's just because it's my senior year and I really wanted to win."

Taylorsville (23-7-2) got a two-run single from Emma Kennedy in the first inning. That lead held until the fifth, when the Lady Rams (22-5) scored three runs without the aid of a hit.

With the bases full, Kyleigh Scott hit a grounder to the shortstop, who got the force at second base.

Kiersten Perkins scored from third, and then Jones came around from second after seeing the second baseman tangled up with the runner, Kendrailia Nash.

"It's those little things that when you run 60 feet, a lot can happen," Vardaman coach Josh Hegwood said.

Vardaman added a run in the seventh when Maddie Terrell doubled and then scored on a Nash groundout.

Jones retired the final seven batters she faced. She allowed just three hits.

"I thought early on she was a little shaky, but she came in and dominated after that," Hegwood said. "I don't think they hit anything except a foul ball hard after that."

Extra Bases

Big Inning: Vardaman scored three runs in the fifth thanks to a hit-by-pitch, three walks and a fielder's choice.

Big Stat: Vardaman won despite stranding eight baserunners.

Coach Speak: "The main thing I keep telling the girls is keep fighting, keep grinding. It's going to be a seven-inning game, and maybe more." — Hegwood

brad.locke@journalinc.com