RIDGELAND -- There's the saying pitching and defense wins championships.
That was the case late on Thursday night.
Behind a stellar pitching performance from freshman Aspen Wesley, Neshoba Central got past West Harrison 2-0 to take Game 1 of the MHSAA Fast-Pitch Softball state championship series at Freedom Ridge Park.
The game was originally was suppose to start at 6 p.m. but didn't start until 9:40 due to earlier games ending late. Game 2 is set for 6 p.m. Friday.
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Neshoba Central (26-1) is seeking its fourth straight 5A state championship overall and eighth overall.
Wesley tossed a complete game one-hitter with 13 strikeouts. The lone hit for West Harrison (19-15) came in the fourth inning on a single to center by Sydney-Brooke Sims.
"She's done that for us all year. Go out and strikes out a lot and defense played well behind her," said Neshoba Central coach Trae Embry. "We were able to get the hits when we needed too, but we need to better offensively."
West Harrison only had two players reach base in the entire game as Megan Sexton reached on an error in the sixth.
"At first I was struggling with hitting my spots but after the first inning I settled down," Wesley said. "I did my job and defense behind me made plays and that was the difference."
The Lady Rockets got their first run on a solo home run by Sindle Williams in the second inning. Madalyn Thompson added an RBI-single to center field in the fifth.
West Harrison's Stephanie Necaise took the loss, but had a good outing. Necaise tossed a complete game gave up just five hits, two earned runs and had five strikeouts for the Lady Hurricanes.
"Wesley is just a great pitcher and tonight it showed," said West Harrison coach Brittany Rogers. "Our game plan was to layoff the riseball and we didn't tonight."