CLINTON — “Straight outta Clinton!” the Silliman softball team yelled as it formed a championship pile on home plate after defeating Leake 6-0 in Game 2, clinching the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools’ Class 3A state championship on Saturday.
The Lady Wildcats defeated the Lady Rebels 16-5 on Oct. 7 in Game 1 in a best-of-three series.
The victory was the 16th straight for coach Trae Weaver’s squad, which improved to 37-5 on the season and won the team’s sixth straight South State Championship title. Silliman also went 8-0 to earn its seventh district title in a row.
“It was awesome; I’m so happy for the girls,” Weaver said. “There was a lot of happiness and excitement for the kids and fans. It was a total team effort, and we put in a lot of blood, sweat and tears this season. To finish it at home was very special.”
The victory over the weekend was the team’s first championship since claiming the Class 2A title in 2005, although the Lady Wildcats have been very close the past six years. They were runners-up in 2010 and 2012, fourth in 2011 and 2014, and third in 2013.
Kennedy Carruth, the winning pitcher, tossed a six-hit shutout and was 5-0 in the state playoffs with an .848 earned-run average.
For the year, Carruth was 34-4 with a 1.115 ERA and was two for three at the plate against Leake.
“It was awesome,” Weaver said. “Kennedy pitched great — she was our ace all year.”
Mary Morris, also 2 for 3 and with six RBIs; and Allie DeLee, with a .444 average, two home runs and two RBIs, were top players, as were the other three girls named to the All-State Tournament team: Carruth, who had a .333 batting average and tallied six RBIs; Kayla McNabb, with a .500 average and eight runs; and Callie Venable, with seven runs and six RBIs.
“It’s very special for our three seniors — shortstop Callie Venable, third baseman Mary Morris and right fielder Maddie Trahan — who have been playing together since sixth grade,” said Weaver, who has been the Lady Wildcats’ head coach since 2007 after five years as an assistant. “They’ve been through a lot. We have a very special group, and I’m glad they were able to finish it together. Our assistant coach, Rick Hurst, has been part of the formula for sure.”
Additionally, Morris and Venable played in the MAIS All-Star Game on Wednesday in Flowood, Mississippi.
“Now we’ve got to try for the repeat; it’s back-to-back time,” Weaver said. “We’ve got a lot of great players coming back, and our JV program is strong. We’ll be fighting for it again next year.”