Ron Polk believes he wouldn’t be Hall of Fame material if not for the players he has coached. That’s why he is glad to be inducted into a Hall of Fame with one of his former Mississippi State players. Polk and Rafael Palmeiro will be two of 10 players and coaches who will be inducted to the College Baseball Hall of Fame on July 3 in Lubbock, Texas.
Prior to the start of the season, Courtney Gordon believed the University of West Alabama had the potential to have a good softball team. Gordon must have known something. West Alabama (27-5) is off to its best start in school history after sweeping a doubleheader at Stillman College, in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Tuesday. The Lady Tigers won the opener 18-0 and the nightcap 17-2. Gordon, a 2005 graduate of New Hope High School, is a senior shortstop for the Lady Tigers who has played an instrumental role in the team’s fast start.
WEST POINT — The ability to work out of trouble is essential for any pitcher. Sometimes that trouble materializes after a bloop single or an error. Other times, an ill-timed walk quickly can put a pitcher in a jam that is difficult to escape. Cole Vaughan showed Tuesday afternoon he’s capable of living dangerously and then finding a way to avoid the big inning. Vaughan scattered six hits in a complete-game effort to help the Heritage Academy baseball team defeat Oak Hill Academy 6-3.
STARKVILLE — Blake Dawkins hoped for another opportunity. The Starkville High School catcher struck out with the bases loaded in the fifth inning against Tupelo on Tuesday night, and the Yellow Jackets left three on base that inning. In the seventh, the bases were loaded again with Dawkins at the plate. This time he singled in Jayson Keel to lift Starkville to a 3-2 victory. Tupelo (6-3, 1-1 Class 5A, Division 2) walked Daniel Forde in front of Dawkins twice. Starkville (10-2, 3-0) didn’t take advantage of the first situation, but did on the second.
At 8 a.m. April 4, the streets of Columbus will be filled with runners on a 6-mile course that will take them past the many faces of the city. To promote tourism in the city, the Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau decided to sponsor a race in the middle of Pilgrimage, the annual tour of the antebellum homes in Columbus. The race is used to promote tourism in Columbus. The event, which starts and ends at the Tennessee Williams Welcome Center, shows off the Mississippi University for Women, the city’s antebellum homes, and the river walk.
STARKVILLE — It was a good night to get a one-hitter from two freshmen. Frustrated that his Yellow Jackets left 12 runners on base, Starkville High School baseball coach Danny Carlisle liked that Nick Brooks and Hayden Higginbotham combined to give up only one hit Tuesday night in a 5-1 victory against West Lowndes.
STARKVILLE — Mississippi State and the University of Mississippi are well represented among the finalists for the Cellular South Bailey Howell and Peggy Gillom Trophies. The awards, which go to the state’s top men’s and women’s college basketball players, will be presented at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in Jackson.
Austin Braddock is branching out to all fields. Always considered a dead pull hitter, Braddock has discovered this season that hitting is a lot easier when you change your approach at the plate.
STARKVILLE — Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen already considers quarterback Tyson Lee, of Columbus, a champion before he sees what he can do on the practice field today. That’s because Lee is one of 16 Bulldogs chosen to the “Champions Club,” which is made up of players who excelled on and off the field in offseason conditioning and met standards set by their position group.
Sharon Fanning has talked all season about responding to challenges. The Mississippi State women’s basketball team discovered Saturday there was no better time than tied at 59 with less than two minutes remaining in its first NCAA tournament game in six years to punch back. The Lady Bulldogs delivered a knockout blow many have been waiting for all season.
STARKVILLE -–– Les Koenning returns to the Mississippi State football practice field Tuesday after a 20-year absence. Koenning was the running backs and wide receivers coach at Mississippi State from 1986-89. He returned when Dan Mullen was hired to replace Sylvester Croom this past December. Koenning welcomes the opportunity to work with Mullen and return to Mississippi State.
STARKVILLE -- Tailback Anthony Dixon will not be a forgotten man in the spread offense of new Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen. It is Mullen’s hope that the former 1,000-yard rusher will be again next fall his senior season. Mullen said there is a misconception that a running game is not important in the spread, but he begs to differ.
STARKVILLE –– Mississippi State’s softball team had an opportunity to answer with a good third inning after LSU put up a four-spot in the second game of a doubleheader Saturday afternoon. Mississippi State scored one run when Ali Bainbridge was hit by a pitch with the bases-loaded and two outs, but ended up leaving three runners on base when Sammie Jo Bailey popped out to the catcher to end the inning. Mississippi State coach Jay Miller said it was tough to see his clean-up hitter fail to get the job done in that situation.
Renee Ladner hoped a loss to Auburn in the Southeastern Conference tournament earlier this month wasn’t the end to her team’s season. The University of Mississippi coach learned Monday that the Lady Rebels will play at least one more game. Trouble is, Ole Miss didn’t find out until Friday night who and where they were playing. Murray State defeated Arkansas-Little Rock 67-65 in a first-round game at the Jack Stephens Center in Little Rock, Ark. The victory means Murray State (23-8) will play at Ole Miss (17-14) at 4 p.m. today.
Rachel Hollivay’s circle of basketball contacts is growing. The New Hope High School freshman on Wednesday received an invitation to attend the Nike Girls Regional Skills Academy event at Norcross High School in Atlanta on April 25-26.
STARKVILLE –– The Mississippi State football team will begin to “Spread the Fun” next week when coach Dan Mullen opens spring football practice. After a week of spring break where some of his assistants were finishing moves to Starkville, Mullen said everyone will be ready to get down to business. Mullen, who was hired Dec. 11, 2008, after Sylvester Croom resigned Nov. 29, will try to start out with a clean slate with the players.
STARKVILLE — Armelie Lumanu trudged out of the team’s locker room following a loss to LSU in the Southeastern Conference tournament in North Little Rock, Ark. Lumanu’s body language was in stark contrast to the emotion and energy she exhibited in the second half. With less than eight minutes remaining, Lumanu stole the basketball near midcourt and was fouled seconds later.
April Sykes’ transformation into a Division I basketball player will continue Saturday in the NCAA tournament. Sykes and the No. 7 seed Rutgers Lady Scarlet Knights (19-12) will take on No. 10 seed Virginia Commonwealth (26-6) at approximately 1:30 p.m. at the Louis Brown Athletic Center in Piscataway, N.J. It’s not surprising Rutgers, which went 9-7 in the Big East Conference, is in the NCAA tournament.
It’s Butch Thompson’s turn. The Mississippi State pitching coach was an observer Wednesday when Alabama-Birmingham coach Brian Shoop and volunteer coach Ron Polk returned to Dudy Noble Field. Shoop was an assistant coach at Mississippi State and Polk was MSU’s coach for 29 seasons. This weekend will be a homecoming for Thompson when MSU plays at Georgia.
Seth Wood didn’t want to make the wrong choice. As much as he was interested in accepting a scholarship to play soccer at Williams Baptist College in Walnut Ridge, Ark., Wood realized the school really didn’t have a field of study that suited him. Wood didn’t eliminate Williams Baptist, but he decided to finish his high school soccer season and what other offers came his way. When Wood received a call from East Mississippi Community College men’s soccer coach Junior Noel, he had a feeling he had found his destination.
1. New Hope's Sartori to join Lee University for volleyball COLLEGE SPORTS
2. New Hope ready to make run at golf state championship HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS