ACKERMAN -- The Hamilton Lions survived a late scare from Ackerman to post a 9-8 win Saturday and advance in the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 2A playoffs. Hamilton (20-3) dethroned the defending state champions by building a 7-2 lead in the fourth inning and holding on through a furious rally that saw the desperate Indians plate four runs in the sixth inning. Relief pitcher Chase Reeves rebounded from the shaky sixth by striking out three batters in the final inning.
Five innings wasn't enough for Olivia Ladner. While some pitchers would have taken the opportunity to rest after a six-run inning created an eight-run deficit for her team, Ladner preferred to finish what she started. That final deficit in Game 2 changed only slightly, which allowed the New Hope High School fast-pitch softball team to force a third game 20 minutes later. The break apparently worked wonders for Ladner.
HAMILTON -- The Hamilton High School fast pitch softball team learned a valuable lesson here Saturday afternoon -- when you live by the sword, sometimes you also die by the sword. Last week, the Lady Lions switched to a "small ball" strategy en route to a 7-3 win against East Union in the second and deciding game of their best-of-three series with the Lady Urchins in the opening round of the MHSAA Class 2A playoffs.
HAMILTON -- Support comes in all varieties.
In baseball, teammates can back their pitchers with solid defense, timely hitting, and a selfless approach.
The Hamilton High School baseball team is fortunate because it has five seniors who provide that support in every facet of the game.
Left-handed pitcher Dylan Earnest and outfielder Kevin McCartney probably are the two of Hamilton's most recognized players, but designated hitter Devin Hopper, shortstop Nathan Cockerham, and outfielder Cole Johnson have played integral roles in the Lions' success this season.
Survive and advance.
It sounds simple, but nothing is easy in high school athletics.
Even the most "outmanned" teams can give an opponent a test to remember.
Neshoba Central reminded the New Hope High School baseball team of that fact in the first round. The Rockets used stingy pitching and stout defense to stretch the Division 2, District 1 champions to three games before Blake Roberts' complete-game effort pushed the Trojans to the second round.
EUPORA -- Ten runs usually is enough for any fast-pitch softball team to win comfortably.
The way the Hamilton High School Lady Lions have been playing, scoring double-digit runs virtually guarantees a victory.
"If you would have told me we were going to score 10 runs I would have thought we would have won," Hamilton coach Jason Cobb said.
But funny things happen at playoff time.
Anna Holley does everything at game speed.
Whether she's hustling to second base to take infield grounders or she's catching her pitcher and popping the ball back to the circle, Holley helps set the tone for the New Hope High School fast-pitch softball team.
HAMILTON -- The pieces usually come together at this time of the season for the Hamilton High School fast-pitch softball team.
Led by seniors Katie Beth Dahlem, Lyndsey Williams, Shelby Savage, and Chauncia Willis, the Lady Lions are focused on adding another title to the slow-pitch crown they won in the fall.
Two pitchers have helped the South Lamar High School softball team keep opponents off stride at the plate.
The Lady Stallions hope the trend continues when they play in the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class A North-Central Regional Tournament.
Reclassification meant opportunity for the Noxubee County High School boys track and field team.
Coach Tyrone Shorter knew the Mississippi High School Activities Association's decision to add a sixth classification and the subsequent moves of Oxford and Pearl high schools from Class 4A to Class 5A would favor his program.
STARKVILLE ó Clay Stringer can feel it.† But Starkville Academyís golfers must avoid another late hiccup to win a state championship. Todayís Mississippi Association of Independent School Class AAA state tournament at Jackson Country Club will tell if Stringerís senior-driven squad can close on a championship level after finishing four points from the top at North State. Last week at Colonial Country Clubís Deerfield course, the Volunteers missed out on a chance for a second-straight North State championship.
Starkville Academyís golfers must avoid another late hiccup to win a state championship. Todayís Mississippi Association of Independent School Class AAA state tournament at Jackson Country Club will tell if Stringerís senior-driven squad can close on a championship level after finishing four points from the top at North State.
STARKVILLE ó The football building blocks are being laid at Starkville Academy.† Jeff Terrillís return to the prep ranks for the first time since 1993 brought him to a rebuilding project that has a dubious number hanging over the last two seasons. Fifteen straight losses and a winless 2009 campaign did more than evoke a coaching change ó players defected.
Noxubee County School District Superintendent Kevin Jones said Tuesday that the district's school board accepted the resignation of former football coach M.C. Miller but didn't approve the hiring of a new football coach at its Monday meeting. Jones said the school board will meet two more times this month, with the next meeting scheduled for Monday. The hiring of Tyrone Shorter to replace Miller as Noxubee County High School football coach is expected to be on the agenda at one of those meetings. Shorter was an assistant coach for 12 or 13 years to Miller, who left Noxubee County High to take a job as head football coach at Harrison Central. Miller later reconsidered that opportunity and was hired to become the football coach at Louisville High School. He replaces Brad Peterson, who is the new football coach at Btrandon.
Landon Ellis struck out eight and allowed one hit in five innings Tuesday to lead the Victory Christian Academy baseball team to an 11-1 victory against Victory Baptist (Millbrook, Ala.) in the Alabama Christian Educators Association playoffs. The victory pushes Victory Christian (10-1) into the ACEA Final Four at 3 p.m. Friday at Northside in Dothan, Ala. The Eagles likely will play Northside. Victory Christian was forced to play Tuesday after it lost a coin flip with Tuscaloosa Christian. The teams split two regular-season meetings and were tied for the top spot in the region. The No. 1 seed received an automatic bid to the Final Four.
ITTA BENA ó The Caledonia High School girls and the Noxubee County High School boys track and field teams won Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 4A Region 1 championships Tuesday at Mississippi Valley State University. The Lady Confederates scored 109 points to outdistance Amory (81 points) and Noxubee County (75). The Noxubee County boys had 119 points to run away from Caledonia, which was second with 80.
Lee Boyd hopes to see a little more fire from his team tonight. The first-year New Hope High School baseball coach opened his teamís game against Neshoba Central on Saturday night by asking his players to get him five runs in the fifth inning. Instead, the Trojans went scoreless in the first, had only six hits, and and scuffled through a 3-2 loss in game two of their best-of-three Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A opening-round playoff series.
Brent Harris knew this season could be special for the Victory Christian Academy baseball team. After watching many of the teamís younger players take their lumps, Harris watched as an assistant coach as those players slowly matured and gained confidence. This season, in his first as the Eaglesí head coach, Harris thought things could come together provided the upperclassmen delivered solid leadership.
Lee Boyd left the quick hook in the dugout this time ó if only for another batter. Thatís about as much margin for error as Blake Roberts had remaining when Boyd sprinted to the mound for a discussion with his starting pitcher in the top of the second inning Monday night.
Richard Christopher didnít want to relive history. A year after a shoulder injury helped prevent him from winning a state title, the Heritage Academy senior realized a goal Saturday when he won the AAA shot put title at the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Overall State Championship at Mississippi College.
1. MSU offense gearing up for showdown with Texas A&M COLLEGE SPORTS
3. Jones leads new-look defensive line for top-ranked EMCC COLLEGE SPORTS
4. Heritage Academy hits critical stretch of schedule HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
5. Youthful Pickens Academy gearing up for stretch run HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS