Lafayette beats Oxford in regular season finale

Published 10:24 pm Thursday, April 21, 2022

OXFORD, MISS — The Lafayette softball team defeated rival Oxford 9-6 on Thursday in the final regular season action for the two squads before they gear up for the playoffs.

The Chargers (12-9-1, 6-0 Region 1-6A) jumped out to an early lead with a pair of runs in the first, but the Commodores (12-9-1, 4-1 Region 2-5A) struck back in the middle innings to take the lead.

Oxford starter Madelyn Yon struggled to keep runners off base in the third after retiring the side in order in each of the first two innings. The sophomore righty allowed six of the first seven batters in the inning to reach base safely as her team compounded the poor performance with untimely errors.

“We definitely weren’t swinging it like we needed to in the first few innings and then I felt like we got in a bit of rhythm there in the third,” said Lafayette head coach Greg Lewis.

The Chargers tied it in the top of the fifth after third baseman Kalvia Caldwell and shortstop Claire Wicker hit back-to-back singles to open the inning before crossing the plate courtesy of a poor throw to first base that sailed down the right field line. They added one more on a wild pitch that allowed Yon to score from third, making it a 6-5 ballgame.

Lafayette got the last laugh however, as the Commodores plated two runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth to put the game out of reach.

“We swung it well and we gave ourselves a chance to win, we just didn’t make enough plays on defense,” said Oxford head coach Kyle Long. “They’re a good team… we just gotta get better before next weekend.”

Seventh-grader Sydney Crager pitched well for Lafayette in relief after starter Taylor Styers was chased out of the game in the fifth, tossing three scoreless innings while striking out six batters to earn the win.

“[She was] a little off when she first came in… but did a very good job settling in and then once she was able to get back in there she had five, six strikeouts again,” Lewis said.

Shortstop Morgan Manscoe sparked the offense for the Commodores all night, going 3-for-3 with a walk and a pair of RBIs from the leadoff spot.

Leftfielder Jordan Heuser also recorded multiple hits for the Commodores, registering a pair of singles and a run scored in three at-bats.

The two squads now turn their attention to the playoffs, where both teams will receive a bye in the first round before hosting a second-round matchup next weekend.

Lafayette will play the winner of New Hope and Canton’s first round matchup, while Oxford will host the winner between Germantown and Olive Branch. The first game of each series is currently scheduled for Apr. 29.