STARKVILLE -- Archrivals Starkville Academy and Heritage Academy have played each other in numerous sporting events through the years. However, one would be hard-pressed in recent memory to find a more important baseball game than the one scheduled for 6 tonight in the opener of a best-of-three series in the semifinal round of the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class AAA, Division II playoffs at Trip Carson Field in Columbus. The series winner will play next week for the state championship.
Bruce Branch didn't panic. The Heritage Academy baseball coach knew Mother Nature wasn't doing his team or any other squads in the state any favors early in the season keeping it from getting outdoors.
Parker Dunaway had concerns. But as much as Dunaway wanted to have a junior season to remember, he didn't want to disappoint his teammates on the Heritage Academy baseball team. Dunaway also didn't want his track and field efforts to suffer, either, but he still wasn't sure how he would fare returning from an elbow injury.
CRAWFORD -- This isn't the best time of year to ask East Oktibbeha County High School football and track and field coach Randy Brooks to take a fishing trip or to help with a fix-up project.
The South Lamar High School fast-pitch softball team went 5-2 in the final week of the regular season to prepare for the area tournament. South Lamar (30-7, 7-1 area) will play Berry at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at Parrish.
STARKVILLE -- Debbie Carlisle knew some information her husband would have love to have known Saturday afternoon. Sitting in the stands on a beautiful Saturday afternoon at Carlisle Field, Debbie predicted the Starkville High baseball team was going to turn a double play to escape a bases-loaded jam in the sixth inning.
The samurai is back and ready to do some damage. In slow-pitch softball season, Lauren Holifield took to wearing a yellow bandana around her head to signify she and New Hope High School were ready for battle.
CLEVELAND -- There are a lot of ways to lose a baseball game. A walk-off grand slam is one you don't normally see. Unfortunately, that's how the Caledonia High School baseball team saw its season end Saturday.
HAMILTON -- Lexus Jordan never has hesitated to express her feelings.
The New Hope High School fast-pitch softball team wants to continue its climb.
New Hope High School carried a region championship and tons of momentum into the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A baseball playoffs.
STARKVILLE -- Even after pitching a complete game on the mound, Starkville High School senior pitcher Nick Brooks' best role was a cheerleader for the highlight worthy defensive plays made behind him.
STARKVILLE -- Brian Jones can attest that the job as baseball coach at Starkville High School always has had cachet.
CALEDONIA -- Trey Lancaster's slow shake of the head is a telling sign for anyone who has swung a bat. Whether it is fastballs or curveballs, pitchers with command of the strike zone, or pesky mechanical quirks, hitters have a variety of things that can wreak havoc with their batting averages and cause them to second- or triple-guess their approach.
HAMILTON -- Don't worry if you don't see a baseball. Be more concerned with the noise you hear from the Hamilton High School baseball team.
The New Hope High School baseball team may be strongest up the middle. Any coach will tell you that they like their squad's chances if they have dependable players at catcher, pitcher, center field, and in the middle infield positions.
STARKVILLE -- In his 29 seasons as baseball coach at Starkville High School, Danny Carlisle knows pitching and defense can carry a team in the postseason. That is why he's excited as he prepares for his final playoff run as leader of the program. The Yellow Jackets have two senior pitchers they can count on to give them a chance against any team.
STARKVILLE -- The Starkville High School football team took the first step Tuesday night to settle unfinished business. Rising senior quarterback Gabe Myles threw two touchdowns to lead Starkville to a 17-8 victory against Columbus High in a spring football game.
STARKVILLE -- Neil Henry has the football program at Starkville Academy to thank for his team's baseball success in 2012.
CALEDONIA - Caledonia High School fast-pitch softball coach Robin Elmore kept her squad in the outfield for a lengthy heart-to-heart talk Monday night.
1. Cohen: Construction on schedule at Dudy Noble COLLEGE SPORTS
2. Rousing rout for West Point in opener HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
4. New Hope putting pieces together on offense HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
5. Kendrick, Caledonia set for county showdown vs. West Lowndes HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS