April 17, 2013 1:43:35 AM
The New Hope High School girls golf team won Monday in spite of the weather.
Despite having three matches rained out and not having a lot of time to hone their games, the Lady Trojans still showed they are capable of shooting a championship round.
Buoyed by individual medalist Mary Grace Caldwell's 87, New Hope took the Class 5A, Region 2, District 4 title with a team score of 190 at the Mississippi State University Golf Course.
West Point, which was led by Ashley Johnson's 89, finished second with a 216. Starkville was third at 217. Oxford was fourth (248).
Bell Keopraseut, an eighth-grader, shot a 103 to count as the Lady Trojans' other score. Sophomore Taylor White and freshman Victoria Bradley also played for New Hope.
"They played really well," New Hope coach Laura Lee Holman said. "The weather has been so cold, and with all of the rain it has been hard to get any quality practice in. Considering the number of matches (four) we have had and the amount of practice we have had, I am really pleased with our scores."
Holman knows New Hope has work to do if it is going to compete for a state championship. Weather permitting, though, she feels New Hope will have enough time to work on its game before the Class II and III State championships April 29-30 at Sunkist Country Club in Biloxi.
Monday's score, which was the team's best of the season, is a starting point. She said the team played two matches in Starkville and the players had additional time to practice on the course, which she feels helped their scores.
The familiarity of the course might have helped Caldwell the most. She was three strokes behind after the front nine, but she regrouped to par three holes in a row to take over.
"She just really buckled down and played some great golf," Holman said of Caldwell. "She had to scramble behind tree and out of sand traps, so she did a great job of fighting back for the lead. She had a couple of holes where she wasn't in the greatest situations, but she found a way to get back to where she needed to be to par the holes, which is pretty good for a young golfer to keep their composure and get the lead back.
n Heritage Academy wins tournament: At Clarksdale, Evan McElrath shot a 72 and Hunter Anderson carded a 73 Monday to lead Heritage Academy to a team total of 295 and a first-place finish at the Lee Academy Invitational.
Cade Lott (74), Austin Fitch (76), Douglas Kilarski (85), and Dalton Ford (85) also played for the Patriots in the 14-team field.
Magnolia Heights was second at 307. North Delta was third (330).
"That is our best round this year," Heritage Academy coach Ed Lott said. "I am very pleased with the outcome."
McElrath has shot a 72, but coach Lott said he is coming into his own the more rounds he plays.
Anderson also shot a 72 a couple of years ago, according to Lott. He said Anderson has been hitting the ball well but not scoring until he had his best round of the season.
Heritage Academy will play a make-up tournament Thursday at Back Acres Country Club in Senatobia. It also will play Monday at the Starkville Country Club.
n New Hope 6, Saltillo 4: At Saltillo, The Trojans scored two runs in the top of the seventh inning Tuesday and finished second in Class 5A, region 2.
Will Golsan had a single, Landon Boyd had a double, Taylor Stafford had two doubles, Rooke Coleman had two singles, and Payton Lane had two singles for New Hope (16-4, 7-2 region).
Stafford struck out five in 5 1/3 innings before giving way to Golsan, who struck out in the final 1 2/3 innings to get the victory.
The victory comes on the heels of a 1-0 victory against West Point on Friday. J.C. Redden pitched into the seventh for the Trojans. Golsan finished the game to help New Hope edge starting pitcher Tez Lane and the Green Wave.
New Hope will play host to Northridge (Ala.) at 6:30 p.m. today. It will play at 7 p.m. Thursday at Kosciusko before taking on New Albany at 1 p.m. Saturday and Columbus at 7 p.m. Saturday.
n Heritage Academy 7, Jackson Academy 6: At Jackson, James Clark walked, stole two bases, and scored the winning run in the top of the seventh inning to lift the Patriots (12-7).
Heritage Academy made the most of six hits thanks to a 3-for-3 showing by Jace Caldwell (three doubles, run, two RBIs). Clark Atkins and Matt Sykes also had doubles and RBIs for the Patriots.
Cody Mordecai scored two runs, M.J. Hamrick scored a run, and Mark Thatcher was 1-for-4 with a run scored.
Clark started and went 4 2/3 innings. He allowed eight hits and six runs (four earned). He walked three and struck out two. Parker Dunaway allowed two hits in 2 1/3 innings to get the victory. He walked two and struck out three.
Heritage Academy will play host to Jackson Academy in a doubleheader at 4:30 p.m. today.
n Pickens Academy 7, Grace Christian 2: Josh Lewis and Reece McGlawn each had two hits Tuesday to lead the Pirates (9-5).
Joel Pratt (2-1) struck out 10 and didn't allow a hit (three walks) in 3 2/3 innings.
McGlawn had a triple, while Sam Beachler had a double and an RBI.
Pickens Academy will play at 6 p.m. Friday at Heritage Academy. It is the No. 1 seed for the playoffs and will play the winner of the Coosa Valley-Northside Methodist series in a best-of-three series that will begin next Thursday.
n Hamilton 3, Hatley 2: At Hamilton, Austin Lewis' sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth inning lifted the Lions.
Nick Owens scattered eight hits in the complete-game, 136-pitch effort. He overcame three errors and two hit batters. He also struck out seven.
Seth Dement had two hits, including a double and an RBI. McKellar Conwill had a double, Allen Baty had an RBI, and Owens had a double.
n Caledonia 5, Leake Central 1: Cassie Obman hit a home run to back the 11-strikeout pitching of Cara Hopper to lead the Lady Confederates (16-7, 7-3 Class 4A, Region 4).
Taylor Renth, Morgan Smith, Hope Burton, Kacey Lovett, and Sarah Beth Kinard had singles. Gracie McCleskey added a double.
The Caledonia High junior varsity team lost to Leake Central 6-2. Stephanie Wilkes had a double, and Nicole Kifer and Lauren Duckworth had singles. Alex Burns (two strikeouts) was the losing pitcher.
Caledonia will play host to Hamilton at 5:30 p.m. Thursday on Senior Night. It likely will start playoffs Friday in a best-of-three series.
n Heritage Academy 8, Magnolia Heights 1: At Columbus, The Heritage Academy tennis team swept doubles action in its cvictory Monday.
Courtney McAlexander won in three sets at No. 2 singles.
In girls doubles, the teams of Natalie Hardy and Allie Rhett (No. 1) and Sydney Ellis and Taylor Dalrymple (No. 2) won in straight sets.
In boys singles, Hayden Peel (No. 1) and Tyner Swedenburg (No. 2) won in straight sets.
In boys doubles, the teams of Wesley Swedenburg and Patrick Mallory (No. 1) and Jack Ellis and Thomas Glenn (No. 2) combined to drop only three games in two victories.
In mixed doubles, the team of Kirby James and Colby Upton didn't lose a game.
n On April 9, Heritage Academy defeated Oak Hill Academy 6-3 in West Point.
In girls singles, Oak Hill Academy's Anna Ready beat Lauren Pole 2-6, 6-3, 1-0 at No. 1. Heritage Academy's Courtney McAlexander beat Jessi Cole 6-3, 6-1.
In girls doubles, Heritage Academy's teams of Natalie Hardy and Allie Rhett (No. 1) and Sydney Ellis and Taylor Dalrymple (No. 2) won in straight sets.
In boys action, Oak Hill Academy's David McElwain beat Hayden Peel 6-1, 6-4 at No. 1 and teammate John Willis Stevens defeated Tyner Swedenburg 6-4, 6-1 at No. 2.
In doubles, Heritage Academy's teams of Wesley Swedenburg and Patrick Mallory (No. 1) and Jack Ellis and Thomas Glenn won in three sets.
The mixed doubles team of Kirby James and Colby Upton also won in three sets.
Adam Minichino is the Sports Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.