After winning two games Saturday, New Hope High School softball coach Tabitha Beard thought her team was poised enough to make it a sweep in the nightcap at Propst Park. For three innings, New Hope was on cruise control with a 2-0 lead against Northeast Lauderdale and had allowed just two batters to reach base.
Whitney Kyles utilized a simple yet effective technique Saturday afternoon en route to the second win of her brief fast-pitch softball career: Just throw it. Aim for the catcher's glove. Kyles, who is more comfortable in her normal role as catcher, started the second game of Columbus High School's busy day at Propst Park, a 5-4 victory against Caledonia that was more than enough to impress coach Rusty Greene.
Columbus High School's baseball team needed a win in a major way. Losers of eight straight ball games, the Falcons entered Senior Night against Caledonia High with a senior making his first start of the season on the mound.
Justin Verner, a junior at Columbus High School, defended his Class 6A state powerlifting title Saturday in Jackson, winning the 242-pound division at Mississippi Coliseum.
Lee Boyd insists the gray hair is there. He tips his cap and, sure enough, there are a few specks of gray on the sides of his head. It remains to be seen just how much of that gray Boyd can blame on his New Hope High School baseball team.
STARKVILLE -- Four boys and three girls from Starkville High School have powerlifting gold on their minds. At Saturday's Mississippi High School Activities Association State meet at the Mississippi Coliseum, two senior Lady Yellow Jackets will look to repeat first-place North State finishes, while Marcus Tate will try to capture his second straight gold medal after winning the 275-pound boys class at North State.
Defending state champion Justin Verner dips his hands in a bucket of chalk to combat perspiration.
Anna Holley and Brandi Brantley break into big grins when asked to relate their favorite "moments" with New Hope High School softball coach Tabitha Beard.
STARKVILLE -- Mark Alexander is back in Starkville, and he has no plans to leave. The Mississippi State graduate and former sports reporter transitioned from working in journalism to coaching basketball five years ago and found instant success in Tennessee and at Manchester Academy in Yazoo City. On Wednesday, Starkville Academy announced Alexander as its new boys basketball coach effective at the end of the current school year.
STARKVILLE -- The bats are alive and well. Throughout much of the Starkville High School baseball team's season, its offensive numbers have dipped and its effectiveness with runners in scoring position hasn't been up to a game-winning standard.
Senior Anna Holley made sure the New Hope High School fast-pitch softball team survived a slow offensive start Tuesday night. Holley had two hits and drove in three runs as New Hope sealed a Class 5A, Region 3 title with an 8-1 victory against West Point at Lady Trojan Field.
Taylor Stafford leads the New Hope High School baseball team this season with a .397 batting average. New Hope coach Lee Boyd said Stafford's work in center field is equally impressive. The freshman (4-2, four saves) also has excelled on the mound and shown an ability to protect leads. Good job, Taylor. Now go get the balls.
This time, New Hope High School senior Zac Nagy meant to swing. One day after his bloop single drove in two runs against Saltillo, Nagy helped seal a 17-7 non-district win against Columbus High on Saturday afternoon with his first home run of the season.
CALEDONIA -- Brandon Fikes is far from intimidating on the mound. His stature more closely resembles a pinch runner than a starting pitcher for one of the state's perennial baseball powers. Then he throws his fastball -- far from the fastest, but it gets where it needs to be.
STARKVILLE -- It's a good sign when a team has its best performance of the season in the heart of division play. Columbus High School fast-pitch softball coach Rusty Greene left Starkville a happy man after watching the Lady Falcons beat Starkville High 7-0 on Thursday.
STARKVILLE -- With the No. 4 University of Florida baseball team coming to town for Super Bulldog Weekend, it helps to have some momentum. Mississippi State overcame a two-run deficit to defeat No. 14 Southern Miss 5-4 on Tuesday in Pearl. The victory helped ease the sting of a lost weekend at Georgia in which MSU was swept in a three-game Southeastern Conference series for the first time this season.
STARKVILLE -- Alvaro Pichardo's college recruitment officially ended Wednesday when the Starkville High striker signed a scholarship with the University of Mobile. The decision put to rest any chance he'd sign with any of the schools that had hoped to secure his services.
STARKVILLE -- Garrett Batson had no idea he'd have an opportunity to play college soccer. The 6-foot-3 Starkville High School right back had yet to have a season in which he'd "put it all together."
Bruce Allsup didn't see it coming. When it did, seven years at Heritage Academy ended in an instant.
The grandeur of the Mississippi State Bulldog High School Invitational didn't get to Korey Wilson. With more than 40 squads competing in MSU's first prep meet at the refurbished Maddox Track Facility, there were plenty of distractions Saturday, so it was easy for someone to get lost. Wilson discovered he fit right in.
1. Trufant has been busy in first six months at The W COLLEGE SPORTS
2. MSU football player Hankerson arrested again COLLEGE SPORTS
3. Defense comes up big for West Point LOCAL COLUMNS
4. Mullen working on extension with MSU COLLEGE SPORTS
5. Murphy, Gay leads locals on MAC All-State teams HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS