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Lady Cats seek to continue traditions

By By Josh Taylor/The Meridian Star
Aug. 8, 2001
Coming off of a 31-9 season, the Lady Wildcats are ready once again for a shot at the state championship. The Lady Cats finished last season second in the state, losing to Moss Point in the championship.
George describes the new season as "a fresh beginning with lots of different faces." The Cats lost three standouts in Brooke Gabriel, Deanna Harrisand Ramey Rush, who is currently playing soccer at Ole Miss. George says that the Cats have, "some holes to fill," but added that for the younger girls," it's their turn to step up."
George will be looking to some key players to pull together team unity including team leader Eron Hodgins. Hodgins, a senior shortstop, was recently involved in a car accident which may slow her down at the beginning of the season. George says he vividly remembers Hodgins catching the last out in the 1999 championship game.
Other senior standouts include Stephanie Nelson, second base. George says he "expects a big offensive year" from Nelson whose batting average was .380 last season.
Also returning is Stephanie Mosley, a senior outfielder and basketball star; and Andra Daniels, senior first base. Rounding out the seniors is Phatemia Sillimon, who could be playing behind home base.
George is looking to younger players such as Laura Bowles, junior pitcher, and Erin Murphy, junior outfielder, to "step up and give more." Some of the strongest arms on the team include ninth grader Carshenna Blanks and 10th grader Raven Williams.
Eighth grader Ebonee Ball is one of the youngest players on the team. Also, look for 11th grader Ashley Brown at third base. The Lady Cats round out their pitching staff with junior Catie Compton and sophomore Hallie Pearson.
The Cats will open this weekend with a preseason tournament with Starkville and New Hope. District games include Northwest Rankin and Brandon along with many area rivalries. George says that the district games are the focus.
George, in his seventh year as head coach, has won two state championships and made it to the final four the past five years.
Josh Taylor is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3235.
Meridian Wildcat
Softball 2001
Aug. 11 – at New Hope Tournament
Aug. 14 – Quitman
Aug. 16 – at Choctaw Central
Aug. 21 – Southeast Lauderdale
Aug. 23 – at West Lauderdale
Aug. 25 – Meridian Invitational
Aug. 28 – at Clarkdale
Aug. 30 – Brandon
Sep. 4 – Northeast Lauderdale (northeast complex)
Sep. 6 – at Neshoba Central
Sep. 8 – at New Hope Tournament
Sep. 11 – Northwest Rankin
Sep. 13 – at Pearl
Sep. 17 – Wayne County
Sep. 18 – at Petal
Sep. 25 – at Brandon
Sep. 27 – at Lawrence County
Sep. 29 – MCC Tournament
Oct. 2 – Pearl
Oct. 4 – Northeast Lauderdale
Oct. 8 – at Northwest Rankin
Oct. 11 – at Quitman
Oct. 16 – 1st round playoffs