Grit and drive have played a major role in the Mantachie Mustangs’ unprecedented success in 2024. This season, neither was more valuable than it was on Thursday afternoon.

At the Southern Miss Softball Complex, the Mustangs defeated the St. Patrick Fighting Irish 7–5 in Game 2 of the MHSAA Class 3A state finals. With the victory, Mantachie won its first-ever state softball championship.

“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.”

First-half action was scored by the Irish, making the score 1-0. Allysa Gray’s three-run home run for the Mustangs in the bottom half was their counterattack.

Grey had not hit a home run all season when he entered the state playoffs. In the series, she drove in eight runs and hit two.

“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.”

Grey was awarded the MVP of the 3A series for her efforts.

Patrick was not finished yet. A wild pitch and a one-run single by the Irish tied the score in the top of the second inning. In the second half, Mantachie (33-5) answered with two of its own.

In the third, Ramsey Montgomery used a sacrifice fly to advance her case. It was 7-3 when a fielding error resulted in another run being scored.

It took self-belief for the Mustangs to be able to rally after the first and second innings.

“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.”

In the sixth inning, the Irish (23–14) reduced the deficit in half and loaded the bases with no outs. Gray’s unassisted double play allowed Mantachie escape the jam. Ramsey Montgomery struck out to end the inning.

Two groundouts were induced by Ramsey Montgomery in the top of the seventh. Then, she recorded her seventh strikeout of the day, giving Mantachie the victory.

Extra Bases

Big Inning: In the bottom of the second inning, Mantachie led 5-3 after taking advantage of five mistakes.

Big Stat: Mantachie had only allowed five or more runs in three previous games.

“We have many young kids who have really stepped up, and the older kids have really stepped up and led them,” explained Coach Speak. Kristi Montgomery on the tenacity of Mantachie

Topics #Grit Leads to Championship #Mantachie Mustangs Triumph #Mustangs' Historic Victory #Mustangs' Unprecedented Success