JACKSON -- After three mostly mediocre seasons at Southern Mississippi, James McMahon's final year with the Golden Eagles has been memorable. The 6-foot-1, 212-pound senior from Hattiesburg continued a dream spring Monday by winning the Ferriss Trophy, which is given annually to the state's top college baseball player.
The South Carolina baseball team understands what's at stake this week in the Southeastern Conference tournament. South Carolina (32-24, 13-17 SEC) enters its first-round game today against Missouri (29-26, 15-15) at Hoover, Alabama, knowing it needs a productive week to reach the NCAA tournament for a 16th-consecutive season. An early elimination likely means they'll be left out of the NCAA field for the first time since 1999.
LAFAYETTE, La. -- When postseason play began, Mississippi State softball coach Vann Stuedeman said her squad would go as far as pitcher Alexis Silkwood could carry them. Silkwood carried the Bulldogs to the doorstep of the championship round of the NCAA tournament Lafayette Regional. However, the bats couldn't help guide the team through to a matchup against Louisiana-Lafayette.
LAFAYETTE, La. -- It was a different ending for Julia Echols. However, this one hurt just as bad, if not more, for the Mississippi State senior second baseman. Echols was injured when the MSU softball team's season ended in the NCAA tournament Lafayette Regional a year ago. On Sunday afternoon, Echols was a big part of the action. However, the final out in a 2-0 loss to Baylor in the Lafayette Regional at Lamson Park was even more severe, as it meant the end of her career with the Bulldogs.
LAFAYETTE, La. -- It took a long time, but the Louisiana-Lafayette softball team came away the big winner when the NCAA tournament Lafayette Regional came to a close Sunday night. With four games at Lamson Park, top-seeded ULL closed the regional with a 9-1 win against second-seeded Baylor in six innings to claim the regional title late Sunday night.
Former New Hope High School standout DJ Sanders has played softball her entire life. Still, she keeps learning.
STARKVILLE -- It's fitting the Wilson black and white volleyball shared center stage Friday. Nestled in front of an iron Yellow Jacket welded onto a base that is a cutout of the state of Mississippi, the volleyball had an ideal vantage point to celebrate Vicky Vo's hard work.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- After a shutout victory in Friday's regional opener, the Alabama softball team turned in an even more impressive shutout Saturday against Washington, as the offense blasted three home runs and Alexis Osorio was one hitter away from throwing a perfect game in a 9-0 victory in five innings in a winners' bracket game of the NCAA tournament Tuscaloosa Regional at Rhoads Stadium.
STARKVILLE -- The two weather delays Saturday were more of an inconvenience for the fans than they were for Scottie Hearn. The Mississippi State sprinter had to endure one that came immediately before his lone solo event -- the 400-meter hurdles -- at the Southeastern Conference Championships. By the time the meet was set to resume, meet officials had decided to do a "rolling" meet in which warmup periods and podium recognition would be abandoned. It wasn't a sweat for Hearn, who set a new personal record and won the event with a time of 49.39 seconds.
In a span of six minutes, the Mississippi State women's track team tallied 27 points, which helped propel it to its highest team finish at the Southeastern Conference Championships. The burst started with a 14-point haul in the 1,500 meters, where Rihanwedd Price and Marta Freitas finished second and third, respectively, with times of 4 minutes, 18.32 seconds and 4:19.38. Then, Erica Bougard ran 13.02 in the 100 hurdles for third and Ste-yce McNeil took seventh. Shayla Lucket then ran a 47.24 in the open 400 to take fourth.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The Mississippi State baseball team couldn't hold a ninth-inning lead Saturday in a 3-2 loss to Tennessee in its final game of the season. Tennessee (24-25, 11-18 Southeastern Conference) scored three times in the bottom of the ninth to sweep the three-game SEC series at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
STARKVILLE -- After a record-breaking performance Thursday, Mississippi State senior Erica Bougard continued her dominance Friday at the Southeastern Conference Track and Field Championships, when she finished first and set a meet and school record with 6,250 points in the heptathlon.
LAFAYETTE, La. The Mississippi State softball team found itself at the crossroads Saturday afternoon of another difficult NCAA tournament regional assignment. Playing in the Lafayette Regional, MSU lost to Baylor 8-4 on Friday night to open the four-team, double-elimination event. In the softball world, losing the first game of a regional makes advancing to the super regional next to impossible.
LAFAYETTE, La. -- Missed opportunities. The Mississippi State softball team had the baserunners Friday night, but it couldn't deliver the critical hit it needed. MSU stranded 10 runners in its opening game at the NCAA tournament Lafayette Regional en route to an 8-4 loss to Baylor at Louisiana-Lafayette's Lamson Park. MSU (35-20) will play to keep its season alive at 6 p.m. Saturday when it takes on Weber State (38-18). The Bulldogs will have to win twice Saturday to advance to today's championship round.
LAFAYETTE, La. -- Mother Nature continues to be the big winner in the NCAA tournament's Lafayette Regional. The elimination game between Mississippi State and Weber State was halted by rain Saturday night. MSU led 1-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning when the delay started at 7:56 p.m. That game will be completed at noon today.
OXFORD -- The Ole Miss baseball team wrapped up its 2015 regular season with 7-4 victory against No. 6 Texas A&M on Saturday afternoon at Swayze Field. The Rebels (30-25, 15-14 Southeastern Conference) and Aggies (43-10, 18-10) were scheduled to play two seven-inning games, but Game 2 was canceled due to inclement weather.
OXFORD -- Through two games in their Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A North State championship series, the New Hope and Oxford high school baseball teams traded thrilling wins, alternating walk-off victories. First, the Chargers celebrated thanks to a game-winning, two-run home run by Ben Bianco for a 3-2 win in Game 1 Tuesday night. On Thursday night, the Trojans countered with a game-winner of their own, a solo home run by junior catcher Will Godfrey that gave new Hope a 1-0 win and pushed the series to a Game 3. There wasn't a walk-off in the finale.
In a two-hour span earlier this year, Tyler Castle won a Mini Stock heat race and was nestled behind Donny Andrews in the penultimate lap of the Winter Classic feature at Columbus Speedway. Blood pulsating through his veins and eyes wide open, the 16-year-old Sulligent, Alabama, native was no stranger to running well; the Sulligent High School junior won the track points title at Columbus in 2014. That night, though, he was still hunting for his first feature win. Though the race didn't attract as many Kajun Mini Stock Association drivers as the sanctioned KMSA events, top contenders Bo Minor and Donny Andrews were there. On the final lap, Castle saw the efforts of his first three years of racing culminate in his first career feature win.
Laura Lee Holman has a new challenge. The fact that it will take her four hours away from New Hope High School, where she played for state titles and led teams in pursuit of championships, was a daunting proposition, but Holman decided last week that it was one worth taking because it will help push her to be an even better coach. Last Friday, Holman resigned from her job as physical education teacher and girls basketball/volleyball coach at New Hope High to take a job as girls PE teacher and girls basketball coach at North Pike High in Summit in Pike County. Summit is about 75 miles south of Jackson and about 100 miles south of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
CLINTON, La. -- As the sun was setting on the Oak Hill Academy baseball team's season Thursday, coach Marion Bratton watched his players pack their gear and head to the team buses. The Raiders had just lost to Silliman Institute 6-0 in Game 2 of the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class AA championship series. Silliman's players, coaches, friends, and family celebrated their championship in the background.
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