By Bryan Davis
One win, a 7-3 beating of North Delta, secured the Oak Hill Academy Lady Raidersâ€™ spot in the state tournament.
With six teams (Oak Hill, Leake Academy, Carroll Academy, North Delta Academy and Canton Academy) playing in the Louisville event, the North State Tournament was full of great contests.
Oak Hill played three games on Saturday, losing the first to Kirk 9-0. They followed that with the only win of the afternoon for the Lady Raiders, the 7-3 victory. That would be followed by an 8-1 defeat to Canton.
Mamie Allen, who has been battling injuries for the Lady Raiders, took to the circle on Saturday morning. Kirk threatened in the first inning, putting runners at first and second, but Allen was able to escape the jam, with a pop out to Anna Lummus at second.
The Lady Raiders could not get much going in their half of the first, as they were set down 1-2-3.
In Oak Hillâ€™s at-bat in the second, they got the first base runner for the Lady Raiders on the day, as Tori Ellis reached on an error. That would come to nothing, as she was left stranded at first.
Things were still knotted up in the fourth inning, when Kirk came to bat and loaded the bases. After a pop out, a Kirk batter looped a ball toward left field, but Mary Helon Hays, stationed at shortstop, leaped for the catch to save the runs from scoring. She tossed over to third to double the runner up to end the inning.
After the Lady Raiders were set down in the fourth, the top of the fifth inning proved to be the tie-breaker.
Kirk would eventually score four runs in the frame to take the lead.
In the bottom of the inning, Oak Hill got its only hit of the game, a single by Kim Kelly. That hit, however, would come to no runs, and the Lady Raiders would be held scoreless the rest of the game.
The same could not be said for Kirk, as its batters got five more in the sixth, including a grand slam.
The Lady Raiders took a one and a half hour break before playing North Delta, but it was worth it, as they came out on top in the elimination game.
Maegan Ellis led off this game with a solo home run to center that put Oak Hill on the board for the first time all day. The Lady Raiders were not over. There would be more power to come in the top of the first, as Tori Ellis walked and was followed by a two-run home run to left-center by senior Paige Dawkins.
North Delta made a game of it early on. They loaded the bases against Allen, and got an RBI groundout and a two-run triple to tie the game 3-3.
From the second to the fourth, the pitchers dominated, but Oak Hill would break out in the top of the fifth.
Maegan Ellis came back to bat, and she repeated her first-inning feat by smashing a solo home run over the left field fence for her second shot of the day.
Dawkins continued her good hitting with a single, followed by a hit from Falkner. Dawkins would score on an error, and Allen came to the plate and singled in Falkner and Kelly, helping her cause on the mound.
With a 7-3 lead, Allen shut down North Delta, and the win advances them to the state tournament this Saturday in Jackson.
The final game of the day is one Oak Hill would like to put behind them. Playing the Lady Panthers of Canton, Oak Hill could not get much going with the bats or in the field.
Maegan Ellis would drive in Lauren Hitt in the third inning, after Hitt tripled, which would be the first run of the game for either team. Unfortunately for Oak Hill, it would prove to be their last, as Canton went on to score eight.
Oak Hill will start play in Jackson this Saturday.