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Five home runs, Pounders' performance lift Corinth past Pontotoc

PONTOTOC – For the past several weeks, hitting has been a point of emphasis for the Corinth Warriors. In Game 1 of the Class 5A state quarterfinals, that focus paid off in a big way.

Corinth (19-6) erupted for five home runs on Thursday in a 12-1 win over Pontotoc.

“We needed those timely hits,” Corinth coach Maggi Vondenstein said. “We needed to be able to hit the ball and piece them together, and I think we did a fantastic job of that tonight.”

The first two home runs came in the top of the second, when Maddie Mills and Kinley Pittman each went yard to make it 4-0.

Pontotoc (16-7) got a run back in the bottom half, but Pittman answered in the top of the fourth with a solo shot. Addyson Moore followed with a two-run bomb to make it 7-1.

“We consistently hit all week. This is all we did,” Pittman said. “All we did was work on our mechanics. Keeping our hands high, getting our barrels through the zone, hitting good pitches off the pitching machine, and it worked out for us. It paid off.”

The last home run came off the bat of McKinley Moore, whose three-run shot made it 10-1 in the top of the sixth.

While the offense hummed, Callie Pounders battled on the mound. The junior went all seven innings, allowing one run on three hits and striking out 13.

As light rain fell during parts of the game, Pounders had problems gripping the ball but was able to get the outs when it mattered most.

“She's been our workhorse all season,” Vondenstein said. “She's competitive and when push comes to shove, she's going to bear down and compete, and she did that tonight for sure.”

An intentional walk loaded the bases in the bottom of the third and brought the tying run to bat with one out. Pounders got both Averi Bridgman and Olivia Galloway to strike out swinging and escaped the jam.

Pontotoc had another chance to score in the fourth with two runners on and one out. Once again, Pounders got two strikeouts.

“We tried to make adjustments,” Pontotoc coach Michael Wildmon said. “She moves the ball so well.”

Game 2 will be on Saturday at noon in Corinth.

Extra Bases

Big Inning: With two outs in the top of the first, McKinley Moore drew a walk on a full count. Addyson Moore brought her home with a double to make it 1-0 Corinth.

Big Stat: Corinth has won its last seven games by a combined score of 119-3.

Coach Speak: “We’ve done a lot of hitting the last couple of weeks, and I'm just glad to see it paying off for these kids. They're working really hard, and it's paying off for them.” – Vondenstein