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Saltillo sweeps Missy Gators out of softball playoffs

In scheduling a playoff doubleheader for Saturday, Vicksburg High softball coach Brian Ellis had hoped to capture some momentum and perhaps steal a series.

It did not work out that way.

The first three batters in Saltillo’s order went 18-for-20 on the day and drove in 14 runs as the Tigers swept Vicksburg out of the MHSAA Class 5A playoffs with 15-3 and 14-0 victories.

Saltillo advanced to face six-time defending Class 5A champion Neshoba Central (25-1) in the second round.

Reese Vanlandingham, Ivia Grace Presley and Memory Willingham only made two outs in two games. Vanlandingham and Presley homered in Game 2, while Willingham was 4-for-4 with four RBIs and two runs scored in Game 1.

Saltillo outhit Vicksburg 31-5 in the two games that lasted a combined eight innings because of the mercy rule.

The Missy Gators (6-16) did score first in Game 1, on an RBI groundout by Jamie Ward in the top of the first inning. Saltillo (15-6) answered with three runs in the bottom of the first, three more in the second, and nine in the fourth to win 15-3.

Kayla Foster had a hit and scored twice for Vicksburg, and Abby Hasty also singled and scored a run.

The Missy Gators didn’t even have those highlights in Game 2.

Presley hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the first inning to spark a 10-run rally and Saltillo was never threatened. Eight of Saltillo’s nine starters had a hit, and seven of them scored a run.

Vicksburg’s only hit in Game 2 was a one-out double by Jazmine Miller in the second inning.

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