Petal softball sends Head Coach Wendy Hogue in to retirement a state champion

Published: May. 22, 2022 at 9:57 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - An explosive five-run fifth inning combined with a nine strikeout performance from senior pitcher Natalie Herrington led Petal Fast-Pitch softball to its first-ever state title Saturday night.

After dropping game one against Hernando High School, the Lady Panthers rallied Thursday to force a game 3. The deciding game between the two 6A opponents would be pushed back nearly six hours due to rain delays.

While not part of the plan, it never altered Petal’s game plan.

The Lady Panthers cruised to a 6-1 victory over Hernando to become the 6A state champions for the first time in program history.

At the forefront of Petal’s team is Head Coach Wendy Hogue.

Saturday night was a full-circle moment for Hogue who had a hand in starting the Petal Fast-Pitch team 23 years ago. The head coach is now on to the next chapter in her life as she enters retirement, but she’ll do it as a state champion.

“It’s pretty special, pretty special. When they gave me the opportunity to start it 23 years ago, to be honest, I never dreamed we’d be standing here. Man to leave and to be at multiple places and to come back, that’s pretty cool,” Hogue said.

“You know Petal Fast-Pitch has been good for a long, long time, and to be the team to finally get over that hump, it feels good. I do want to thank all the players, all the coaches that came before us that started building that legacy. That’s what it was and we just happened to be the team to get a medal around our neck.”

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