By Rocky

Higginbotham

Kemper County Messenger



Kemper Academy dropped a pair of tough decisions on the fast-pitch softball diamond last week.

In another week of schedule-shuffling, the Lady Rams fell 15-9 when visiting Wayne Academy pulled away late. And on Thursday, they lost a two-run lead and fell 5-3 to Our Lady of Victory from Jackson.

A Saturday contest at Newton County Academy was canceled after an accident claimed the father of two Lady Generals.

Kemper entered this week with two regular-season contests left on the slate: Monday at Calhoun Academy and Wednesday at home against Winston Academy.

Regardless of how this week shakes out, the Lady Rams will go to the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class A North State Tournament Saturday.

The 12-team, double-elimination event begins Saturday and ends Monday (Sept. 25) at Calhoun. The top four teams advance to the MAIS Class A State Tournament that begins Sept. 30 at the Magee Sportsplex.

Kemper entered this week with a 9-6 overall record.

Last week against Wayne, KA scored five times in the bottom of the third to grab an 8-5 advantage.

The visiting Lady Jaguars tied it with three runs in the top of the fourth, then the Lady Rams went back ahead with a single run in the home half of the same inning.

But Wayne scored seven times in the top of the fifth inning to bust things wide open.

Kemper lost despite a double, two singles, four runs and two RBIs from Jena Bobo; a double, two singles, an RBI and two runs from Sara Gaylord; and three hits, a run and an RBI from Libba Dudley.

Alyssa Gully added two hits and an RBI; Avery Luke had a single, two runs and two RBIs; losing pitcher Kristen Cook singled and drove in two runs; and Anna Morgan King singled and scored.

On Thursday, KA grabbed a quick 3-1 lead against OLV before the visitors inserted a University of Southern Mississippi signee in the circle to silence the Lady Rams’ bats.

Our Lady of Victory pitchers combined to strike out 11 and retire 14 of the last 15 Kemper batters – with Jordan Gully reaching on a seventh-inning single.

Dudley had two hits, a run and an RBI for Kemper, while Allie Redmond tripled and drove in a run.

Cook doubled, scored and had one RBI and Bobo scored the team’s other run.

Cook also struck out a season-high 13 in the tough-luck loss.