Mantachie fights off St. Patrick to win 3A championship

HATTIESBURG – The Mantachie Mustangs have reached historic heights in 2024 largely thanks to grit and determination. Neither were more valuable this season than on Thursday afternoon.

The Mustangs held off the St. Patrick Fighting Irish to win Game 2 of the MHSAA Class 3A state finals 7-5 at the Southern Miss Softball Complex. The win secured Mantachie’s first state softball championship in school history.

“There were a few innings here where we had to hold our breath,” Mustangs coach Kristi Montgomery said. “But we managed to get out of it.”

Montgomerys go out in storybook fashion


The Irish struck in the top of the first to make it 1-0. The Mustangs countered in the bottom half with a three-run home run by Allysa Gray.

Gray came into the state finals having not hit a home run all season. She hit two in the series and drove in eight runs.

“I wouldn't have done it without any of these girls or coaches or anybody else or without the Lord,” she said. “It would have never been able to happen without everybody else.”

For her efforts, Gray was named the 3A series MVP.

St. Patrick wasn’t done yet. The Irish tied the game in the top of the second on a wild pitch and a one-run single. Mantachie (33-5) responded with two of its own in the bottom half.

Ramsey Montgomery helped her cause in the third with a sacrifice fly. Another run scored on a fielding error to make it 7-3.

The Mustangs being able to respond after the first and second innings meant believing in themselves.

“I feel like this team has gelled more and more all year,” Kristi Montgmery said. “They joined in and didn’t care who got what award or what trophy as long as they came out with the right score on the board.”

The Irish (23-14) cut the lead in half in the sixth and brought the tying run to the plate with no outs. Gray helped Mantachie get out of the jam with an unassisted double play. Ramsey Montgomery finished the frame with a strikeout.

In the top of the seventh, Ramsey Montgomery induced two groundouts. She then got her seventh strikeout of the day to bring the title to Mantachie.

Extra Bases

Big Inning: Mantachie took advantage of five errors to go up 5-3 in the bottom of the second.

Big Stat: This was just Mantachie’s third game allowing five or more runs.

Coach Speak: “We have a lot of youth, a lot of young kids that have really stepped up and the older kids have really stepped up and led them.” – Kristi Montgomery, on Mantachie’s grit