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.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The Mississippi State baseball team failed to cash in on early scoring opportunities and it cost them dearly in Southeastern Conference baseball action Thursday night. Tennessee erased an early deficit and pulled away to a 5-2 win in the opening game of a three-game weekend series at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
LAFAYETTE, La. -- Mississippi State softball coach Vann Stuedeman has made her mark as a pitching specialist. However, Stuedeman has built the Bulldogs program in atypical fashion. Instead of using one ace pitcher, the Bulldogs have relied on pitching by committee -- with starters some relieving and relievers sometimes starting. She has called it playing softball with a baseball mentality. This season, though, has proven quite different.
Home run hitters don't cherish the long ball. Ask them how many home runs they have hit in practice or in games and they're liable to tell you they don't know because they all run together. Will Godfrey doesn't have that problem because he isn't a home run hitter -- at least until Thursday night. That's when the junior catcher smacked a walk-off home run to left field in the seventh inning to lift the New Hope High School baseball team to a 1-0 victory against top-ranked Oxford in Game 2 of the best-of-three Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A North State championship series at Trojan Field.
Home run hitters don't cherish the long ball. Ask them how many home runs they have hit in practice or in games and they're liable to tell you they don't know because they all run together.
In a span of just two hours, 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 earlier this year.
Tabitha Beard doesn't know how many tears she cried in the past few weeks trying to figure out how to wrestle with a legacy. When you play for and then follow a coach like Cary Shepherd, who helped establish New Hope High School softball as one of the state's premier programs, there is an undeniable weight involved in maintaining that tradition. After watching Shepherd win nine slow-pitch championships, Beard kept New Hope among the best in the state, guiding the program to five consecutive slow-pitch state titles from 2007-11 and leading the fast-pitch program to the Class 5A title series in 2012.
Aqua Franklin's goal is to be a head coach. Her eyes have been on that prize ever since she took her initial position as an assistant coach in 2010. When Brandon Schneider, the man who gave her that first job at Stephen F. Austin called recently to ask if she would be interested in joining his staff at Kansas, Franklin had to stop and think. On one hand, she reminded herself she never wanted to take what she considered a "lateral" move because it could jeopardize her career plans. On the other hand, she contemplated the importance of adding the title of associate head coach to her resume and getting the chance to learn a different system and how those things could help her grow as a coach.
CALEDONIA -- The hat fits perfectly. A few days ago, Cole Gullette admits his hair looked a little "shaggy," so any hat, especially the one he will wear next, didn't feel just right. That's why the Caledonia High School senior infielder/pitcher planned stop at the barber shop Tuesday one day before his scheduled appointment to sign a National Letter of Intent to play baseball at Mississippi Valley State.
Jay Jay Swanigan can exhale. After pounding the pavement to try to find a place to play basketball in college, the Columbus High School senior finalized his plans Tuesday to play at Itawamba Community College in Fulton in a signing ceremony at Columbus High. Swanigan signed the official National Letter of Intent on Friday.
"Streaming." That's the best word to describe the flow of blood from Anthony Sharp's nose 20 minutes prior to the Victory Christian Academy baseball team's game against New Life Christian for the Alabama Christian Athletic Association championship. Pressure worked to stop the bleeding for a little bit, but it started again as the start of the game approached. Faced with the prospect of not being able to pitch in the biggest game of his team's season, Sharp did what any competitor would do: He stuffed napkins and Kleenex into his nostrils to stop the bleeding.
STARKVILLE -- Trevor Fitts never imagined his Mississippi State baseball career could end like this. The senior closer was part of MSU's run to the College World Series and national championship series in 2013. He also enjoyed NCAA regional appearances as a freshman in 2012 and as a junior in 2014.
Mississippi State softball coach Vann Stuedeman bought in the first time she met Vic Schaefer. "You can tell he is a winner," Stuedeman said. "He came in with a plan to build a national championship contender. When he walks into a room, there is a presence. You can tell he is all about winning."
STARKVILLE -- One by one, Mississippi State track and field athletes gushed Tuesday about the opportunity to compete for a conference championship on their home turf during a news conference at MSU's Humphrey Coliseum. Each athlete questioned about the advantages of MSU playing host to the Southeastern Conference Championships for the first time since 2002 talked about the advantage of being able to sleep at home, to avoid strenuous travel, and to compete in familiar surroundings.
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