Small ball helped the Cleveland High School fast-pitch softball team earn the right Monday night to keep its season alive. Lindsey Mullins’ bases-loaded walk tied the game in the top of the seventh inning, and Cleveland used three fielder’s choices to tack on three insurance runs to rally for a 5-2 victory against New Hope in game three of the Class 4A third-round playoffs at Lady Trojan Field.
The New Hope High School baseball team wrapped up its opening round series in the Class 4A playoffs with Hernando in two games Saturday. New Hope (20-9) won game two 7-4 at Hernando on Saturday after winning the opener 6-1 at home Friday. If New Hope would have lost game two, the teams would have had to play the final game of the series Saturday.
Tyquan Lucious has made clutch and game-winning shots for the West Lowndes High School boys basketball team. But nothing Lucious has done on the basketball court compares to what he did Saturday night on the diamond. The sophomore right-hander pitched his first career no-hitter to lead West Lowndes to an 11-0 victory against Mount Olive in the deciding game of the best-of-three first-round Class 1A state playoff series.
HAMILTON — Kevin McCartney doesn’t do always do things according to plan. But the Hamilton High School right fielder showed Saturday afternoon that as much as he likes to take his hacks at the plate he can show a little restraint. McCartney’s leadoff walk in the bottom of the first inning set the tone for another productive day and helped Hamilton beat O’Bannon 12-2 in five innings to help it sweep the first-round Class 2A state playoff series.
MABEN — The little things make a big difference for teams that have the talent to win a state title. So even with his team leading by six runs in the third inning Friday afternoon, East Webster High School baseball coach Wes Johnson was concerned. After cruising through the first two innings, starting pitcher Blake Love suddenly lost his command, surrendering a double, walk, single, and walk that helped Puckett cut its deficit to four runs. East Webster’s loss of emotion and energy was equally troubling. But things didn’t stay that way for long, which is why the Wolverines have the potential to win their second consecutive Class 1A state title.
HAMILTON — Hamilton High School’s Kelle West didn’t let the struggles of one part of her game affect the other Saturday. West put aside a tough pitching outing to deliver offensively and help the Hamilton fast-pitch softball team beat Eupora 9-7 in the third round of the Class 2A playoffs. After allowing four runs on four hits in the first inning and facing six batters, West got all of the runs back with her bat with a pair of two-run singles.
STARKVILLE — Mark White has come to expect certain qualities from boys basketball players at Starkville High School. In only two seasons as men’s basketball coach at East Mississippi Community College, White has marveled at the contributions former Yellow Jackets have made to his program. Whether it has been Woodie Howard, John Harris, or Coco Ware, the former Starkville High players have brought high skill levels and even better work ethics to Scooba. White feels Jeff Jernagin can do the same.
MABEN — Aaron Herrington isn’t the hardest thrower in the state of Mississippi. But the junior right-hander has learned to make up for what she doesn’t have by enticing hitters to swing at her pitches.
The Heritage Academy baseball team won two games in its last at-bat Thursday to sweep a Mississippi Private School Association Class AAA District 1 doubleheader from Jackson Academy.
Stacy Hester knows his New Hope High School baseball team has plenty of confidence. Comments from senior outfielder/catcher Will McReynolds last week highlighted how much the Trojans believe in themselves.
STARKVILLE — Nick Klaskala and Josh Senter wanted to keep their options open. Klaskala considered a number of schools and debated which one was the best fit for him academically.
The South Lamar High School baseball team hasn’t lost to a team in its classification this season. South Lamar will attempt to keep that trend going Friday when it begins play in the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class A playoffs.
MABEN — Bill Brand isn’t feeling any pressure. The East Webster High School fast-pitch softball coach has earned a degree of confidence after helping lead the program to Class 1A state titles the past two seasons.
The West Lowndes High School baseball team wants to make a deeper run in the Class A playoffs than it did last year. After being eliminated in the first round by Natchez Cathedral, the Panthers believe they have a team that can go far if things fall into place.
Chris Stratton used a little help from Uncle Charlie on Tuesday night to make things look easy. The Mississippi State signee struck out 10 in five innings to lead the Tupelo High School baseball team to a 15-0 victory against Columbus in a Class 5A, Division 2, District 4 game at Sammy Fletcher Field. The victory coupled with South Panola’s 15-5 victory against Starkville on Tuesday helped put Tupelo (19-5, 6-2 division) in the driver’s seat for the district title. A victory at South Panola at 7 p.m. Thursday would give the Golden Wave the district championship.
The Starkville High School baseball team didn’t find anything magical at the end of the rainbow Monday night, only another victory. After the clouds that brought a late-inning shower moved south, a rainbow formed just as Starkville third baseman Todd Phillips ran toward it to catch the baseball for the game’s final out in a 16-6 victory against West Lowndes.
Kelli Petty doesn’t want any debate. As much success as she and the New Hope High School softball program have on the diamond, the junior standout says track and field is her No. 1 sport.
Will McReynolds doesn’t want his senior season to end with a whimper. On Thursday, he had two doubles and scored two runs against Donnie Tabb and did everything he could to get his teammates pumped up. Unfortunately, the New Hope High School baseball team lost to Neshoba Central and dropped to third place in Class 4A, Region 4, District 4. On Saturday, McReynolds added two hits in the first three innings to help propel New Hope to an 11-5 victory against Columbus on Senior Day at Trojan Field.
Jessica Moore admits she had butterflies. The sophomore outfielder arrived Saturday morning at Lady Trojan Field to discover teammate and starting right fielder Haley Tutor was suffering from an ulcer in her right eye and wouldn’t be able to play against Hernando. Moore accepted the news with concern for her teammate and excitement that she would get a chance to play.
MABEN -- Senior Jacob Harris showed what four years of hard work could do as a powerlifter at East Webster High School, and sophomore Timakis Bell is following the same path. Harris and Bell both won Class A state powerlifting championships in their weight class and gave East Webster quite a lift. Bell said it was the effort and support of the entire team that made individual success possible.
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