The Columbus Nationals battered opponents to the tune of 47 runs in their first three games in the Dizzy Dean 10-year-old South Half state tournament. After suffering their first loss of the tournament Monday to Clinton, the Columbus Nationals rebounded Tuesday in a big way. Logan Sneed delivered a complete-game effort to help the Columbus Nationals defeat Ackerman 8-4 in the final game of the losers’ bracket. Columbus then benefited from 11 walks in the nightcap to beat Clinton 16-6 in four innings.
The Columbus Crush will attempt to make it three in a row this weekend when it plays in the Mississippi Amateur Softball Association 10-and-under slow-pitch state tournament. The Crush will bid for the title Saturday in Meridian after winning the State Games of Mississippi on June 20 in Meridian and the USSSA state tournament in Philadelphia this past Saturday. Columbus is undefeated in seven games after beating the Grenada Lady Slammers in the championship games of the State Games and the USSSA state tournament.
The timing proved to be perfect for Laura Lee Holman. As a result, the former New Hope High School softball and girls basketball standout likely will return to her alma mater as a coach. Holman last week accepted a job offer to replace Tim Vaughan as New Hope High’s girls basketball coach. Holman’s hiring is expected to be finalized Friday when the Lowndes County School Board convenes its monthly meeting.
Rachel Hollivay isn’t letting a little disappointment slow her down. In fact, the New Hope High School sophomore girls basketball player is using her experiences this summer to take her game to new heights. In May, Hollivay was one of 34 players invited to travel to Colorado Springs, Colo., to attend the team trials for the 2009 USA Basketball Women’s Under-16 National Team.
Mandy Fondren believes there is no place better to learn than close to home. Fondren’s decision to accept a job offer to become East Webster High School’s new girls basketball coach is even more appealing because she grew up in Sherwood, a small community in Choctaw County, and she will have an opportunity to join a school with a tradition-rich athletic department.
Another day didn’t change things enough for Clint Wilkerson and his family. The St. Aloysius High School baseball coach Monday morning declined a job offer to be the new head baseball coach at New Hope High School. Administrators from New Hope High then spoke with Wilkerson later that day and asked him to give them more time to try to work out a better situation for him and his family.
GRENADA –– Prior to playing in the Dizzy Dean 7-year-old South State Invitational, the Columbus All-Stars paid special attention to hitting in practice. It paid dividends as Columbus didn’t lose a game en route to winning the tournament. Columbus averaged 23.3 runs per game in beating Batesville 25-9 on Friday, Grenada 25-10 on Saturday, and Starkville 20-12, and Grenada 23-8 on Sunday.
Momentum is a key ingredient of games at any age level. But Uncle Mo’ is especially important when you’re competing for a chance to advance to a World Series. The Clinton Arrows showed Monday night how crucial getting momentum on their side can be. Parker Lee worked out of a no-out, bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the first inning to help Clinton preserve a lead en route to an 8-4 victory against the Columbus Nationals in a winners’ bracket game of the 10-year-old Dizzy Dean South Half state tournament at Propst Park.
Former New Hope High School baseball coach Stacy Hester said Monday he won’t appeal the decision of Lowndes County School District Superintendent Mike Halford not to retain him as the school’s baseball coach.
The Columbus Nationals might be on the verge of putting it all together. One day after delivering a solid defensive and pitching effort, Columbus Nationals’ bats got hot again to help it take a step closer to a title. Tyler Anderson and LaQuinston Sharp hit home runs Sunday to help the Columbus Nationals 10-year-old All-Stars beat Eupora 21-4 in four innings at the Dizzy Dean South Half state tournament at Propst Park.
LUBBOCK, Texas — New inductees from the fourth class of the College Baseball Hall of Fame expressed gratitude Friday for long careers and for the people who helped them achieve college baseball’s highest honor. The Class, which included former Mississippi State coach Ron Polk and former Mississippi State outfielder Rafael Palmeiro, brought the Hall’s membership to 44. In addition to Polk and Palmeiro, the group includes outfielder Joe Carter and pitcher/designated hitter Darren Dreifort (Wichita State), pitcher Kirk Dressendorfer and catcher/utility Keith Moreland (Texas), shortstop Barry Larkin, Michigan; and second baseman Todd Walker (LSU).
STARKVILLE -- Dan Mullen’s idea of a vacation is being able to kick back on the beach and enjoy reading a good book. That’s what Mississippi State’s football coach tried to do as he and his family took a week off from football for a little rest and relaxation. It all changes when Mullen returns to Starkville later this week. He will trade in his novel for the playbook.
EUPORA -- The Starkville Freshman 11-year-old All-Stars were happy to claim an easy win after two high-scoring one-run decisions to open the Dizzy Dean South State Tournament. After losing 19-18 to Grenada on Friday night and beating Louisville 12-11 in the first game Saturday, Starkville had an easier time by knocking off Greenwood 13-3 in four innings. Starkville coach Will McWhorter was happy to see pitchers Cameron Johnston and Matthew Oxford respond with good outings.
Three weeks isn’t a lot of time to perfect the deception needed to collect a cooler, to sneak up on a coach, and to deliver a victory dousing. But Chuck Rose was willing Saturday night to give his players the benefit of the doubt. Judging from their performance on the field, the Grenada Pink Sox just might have to work on their sneak attack.
Balance and depth have been keys for the Columbus Nationals and the West Point 10-year-old All-Stars teams in the first two days of the South State Tournament at Propst Park. Both teams won their opening games Friday night and returned to the field Saturday to record their second-consecutive victories. West Point edged Caledonia 9-8, while the Columbus Nationals beat Grenada Youth 11-1 in five innings to stay in the tournament’s winners’ bracket.
It has already taken quite a bit of time for the case regarding Renardo Sidney’s amateur status to develop. Donald Jackson, the attorney for the Mississippi State basketball signee, said something happened this week that could delay the process even further. Jackson recently learned through e-mail the NCAA has transferred all amateurism cases to the eligibility center, which means a new person will handle the case.
STARKVILLE — Starkville’s Dizzy Dean All-Star baseball teams are looking to celebrate more than Independence Day this weekend. The teams hope to add South State championships and a trip to the World Series to the holiday fun. Jim Moorehead’s age group seeks to defend its state championship when it plays in the Freshman 12 South State in Winona at 3:30 p.m. today. Starkville received a bye and will play the winner of the Winona-Grenada game.
WINONA –– The Columbus Nationals won their opening two games Thursday in the Dizzy Dean 12-year-old South State Tournament. The Nationals beat West Point 14-7 and Ackerman 12-1 to advance to Saturday. The Nationals, coached by Marty Stillman, had seven hits against West Point and eight against Ackerman.
Mississippi State sophomore center D.J. Looney has his bags packed for a trip this month, but it’s not for a vacation. It’s for business. Looney will travel to Denver to meet with members of the NCAA Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Looney was selected in Junee to represent the Southeastern Conference as a member of the committee.
Kiki Patterson is working toward a dream. There already have been plenty of stops on that road, and there will be plenty more in the next three years. But the length of that journey isn’t going to affect Patterson. Instead, it is going to encourage her to work even harder so she accomplish her goal of earning a scholarship to play basketball at a Division I school. Patterson’s play with Team Memphis Elite, an Amateur Athletic Union team out of Tennessee, is helping her get noticed.
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