The stars that dot the scorebook reflect the New Hope High School softball team's prowess on defense. Whether it is third baseman Kasey Stanfield picking a hard-hit short hop, shortstop D.J. Sanders gunning out a runner from the edge of the outfield grass, or Lauren Holifield diving in left-center field to snare a sinking line drive, the Lady Trojans take pride in their defense like no other team in the state.
STARKVILLE -- Adversity doesn't faze leaders. Instead of panicking and losing focus when bad things or mistakes are happening around them, leaders maintain a calm and a poise that makes their peers feel they can do anything if they stick to the plan.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Enter Tyler Russell. Those three words not only changed the complexion of the Mississippi State football team's 21-3 victory Saturday at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, but they also might have changed the outlook of the rest of the 2011 season.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Chris Wilson would love to take some credit for the resurgence of the Mississippi State defense. Instead, MSU's defensive coordinator admitted Saturday the success his unit had in a 21-3 victory against the University of Alabama at Birmingham was due to the fact the 11 players on the field are starting to figure things out.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen listened to his biggest fan and critic this week about getting senior tailback Vick Ballard the football. Himself.
BOONEVILLE -- The suspense in Saturday's heavyweight showdown between East Mississippi Community College and Northeast Mississippi C.C. lasted about three plays.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The No. 2 University of Alabama football team turned a lackluster start into another easy win. AJ McCarron passed for career-highs of 237 yards and four touchdowns and sparked Alabama to a 34-0 win against Vanderbilt on Saturday night.
Jacob Gable thought he and the Green Oaks Golf Club had a strong team that was ready to try to hold on to the Arbre Cup. Gable didn't know he and his teammates would play so well in defense of that trophy. Green Oaks built an early lead in scramble play and went on to a 22.5-9.5 victory against Elm Lake Golf Course in the second annual Arbre Cup at Green Oaks Golf Club.
STARKVILLE -- Once the Starkville High School volleyball team regrouped, it was too late. The Lady Yellow Jackets, undefeated region champs and in the playoffs for the third straight season, managed just 15 points Saturday in the first two sets of their Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 2 first-round playoff match against Hernando.
Unstoppable. On a day two former softball standouts returned to their stomping ground, the 2011 New Hope High School slow-pitch softball team showed Saturday it has the potential to create some tradition of its own.
HAMILTON -- Emily Earnest went 6-for-7 Saturday to help the Hamilton High School slow-pitch softball team beat East Union 8-6 and 4-2 in their Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 2A North State playoff series.
MADISON -- Jaime Melton saw what she wanted Saturday -- just not enough. But the Columbus High School slow-pitch softball coach considers what her team did this season the start of more good things to come.
STARKVILLE - The Mississippi State football team's victory against the University of Alabama at Birmingham last season provides the ideal example to illustrate the difference between that team and the 2011 squad.
The challenge has been set. Judging from the bad feeling in the stomach of Damian Baker, there is a good chance the Columbus High School football team will respond.
RIDGELAND -- Friday night was a game Starkville High School football coach Jamie Mitchell is convinced his players would've found a way to lose last season. The 2011 Yellow Jackets are a different breed.
STARKVILLE -- The Starkville Academy football team had the type of game Friday that shows if a team is playoff ready, if a team can land the last punch after trading punches all night long. The Volunteers hadn't had to win ugly this season. They'd dominated teams with a punishing ground game and entered their matchup against Parklane Academy averaging 35 points in six wins.
WEST POINT -- The Heritage Academy football team still hasn't played the perfect game. The Patriots came mighty close Friday night at Raider Field. Heritage Academy rushed for 403 yards and scored on seven of its first eight possessions to ruin Homecoming for Oak Hill Academy in a 49-0 non-district victory.
NOXAPATER -- An inability to slow down homestanding Noxapater's high-powered offense in the first half put the East Oktibbeha County High School football team in a hole it couldn't climb out of Friday night in a 41-18 loss in a battle of the undefeated in Class 1A, Region 3.
STEENS -- The Potts Camp High School football team made Immanuel Christian's Homecoming game one to forget Friday night with a 35-0 victory. Potts Camp (5-3), a Class 2A Mississippi High School Activities Association member, stymied Immanuel Christian (1-6), holding the Rams to 109 yards.
How do you measure 250 percent? Coaches in every sport can often be heard encouraging their players to give 100 percent -- even 110 -- to produce the desired result.
1. Noxubee County survives against Greenwood HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
2. Playing on road doesn't bother Ole Miss COLLEGE SPORTS
3. Charleston beats Aberdeen again HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
4. Ware leads MSU to victory COLLEGE SPORTS
5. MSU will try to re-focus for bowl game COLLEGE SPORTS