Desoto County Sports

Thursday sports: Lady Tigers take lead in 7A North Half softball

Photo: Hernando pitcher Kate Johnson delivers a pitch during Thursday’s 10-2 7A North Half victory over DeSoto Central. (Bob Bakken/

Hernando took a large step toward a return to the Mississippi state high school softball championship series Thursday night with a convincing 10-2 victory over county rival DeSoto Central. 

Both teams have won 6A state championships; DeSoto Central twice won the state 6A championship in 2018 and 2019, and Hernando won in 6A in 2021.

The Lady Tigers’ victory came in game one of the 7A North Half softball final series at Hernando. Game two of the series is Friday night at DeSoto Central, starting at 6 p.m. The Lady Jags would need to win to bring the series back to Hernando for a deciding game three on Saturday, again at 6 p.m.  

Thursday night, Hernando saw DeSoto Central open the game with a two-run first inning, but followed with a two-run inning of its own for a 2-2 tie after one frame. The Lady Tigers would score twice more in the second inning for what would become the game-winning runs, but Hernando followed with three-run innings in the fourth and again in the sixth inning to put the game away.  

“I thought at first we were a little shook but then we came back,” said shortstop Jayla Sites. “The early lead kept our energy a lot. We kept getting hits and the dugout was on point, which helped a lot, also.”  

Hernando benefited from a strong offensive effort, putting together 10 hits against only four for DeSoto Central. 

“We came to the plate to hit and swung at strikes,” said Hernando coach Nicki Whitten. “Kate (Johnson) threw well and our defense made plays behind her, too.”  

The Lady Jags also struggled in the field with eight errors.  

Kaitlyn Gentry, a freshman, had a big night at the plate, scoring four runs on three hits, including a triple, and with one RBI and Olivia Higginbotham drove in three runs for the Lady Tigers.  

In the circle, Hernando pitcher Kate Johnson struck out five and walked one in getting the complete game victory. Both DeSoto Central runs were unearned and Johnson allowed four hits.  

“She (Johnson) is really stepping into that leadership role, which is what we need,” Whitten said.  “She threw really well tonight.”  

In the Lady Jags’ dugout, losing pitcher Colby Young had two of DeSoto Central’s four hits, all singles. Young pitched 4.1 innings in the circle, allowing seven runs (four earned) on nine hits and struck out one before she left the game and seventh-grader Makayla Jamison finished the contest.  

“We lost a little bit of that teamwork that we have been really focusing on in the postseason,” said DeSoto Central coach Harley Bumpous. “My girls are resilient, I have no doubt we’ll bring it back out tomorrow.”


MHSAA 7A softball North Half playoffs – best of three

  • Hernando 10, DeSoto Central 2 (Hernando leads 1-0)
  • Hernando at DeSoto Central – 6 p.m. Friday
  • DeSoto Central at Hernando – 6 p.m. Saturday, if needed


MHSAA 6A baseball North Half finals – best of three 

  • Warren Central at Center Hill -7 p.m. Friday
  • Center Hill at Warren Central – 7 p.m. Saturday
  • Warren Central at Center Hill – 7 p.m. Monday (if needed)

MHSAA 7A baseball North Half finals – best of three

  • Oxford at Hernando – 7 p.m. Friday
  • Hernando at Oxford – 7 p.m. Saturday
  • Oxford at Hernando – 7 p.m. Monday (if needed) 


Northpoint Christian fell to defending TSSAA D2-A state champion Lausanne 3-1 Thursday night in the West Region championship match. Maverick Ray scored the only goal for the Trojans in the loss. Northpoint remains in the playoffs as the number two seed, however, and will next week host a playoff game against an opponent to be determined. 

Ray, Eli Bailey, and Miller Lashlee were named to the all-tournament team.

TSSAA D2-A West Region boys’ soccer playoffs

  • Northpoint Christian 9, Harding Academy 0
  • Northpoint Christian 8, Westminster Academy 2
  • Lausanne Collegiate 3, Northpoint Christian 1 (championship)