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franklin county times

Area softball source of pride

By By Josh Taylor/The Meridian Star
September 30, 2001
Anyone involved in prep softball in Mississippi knows there is one area that stands head-and-shoulders above the rest. That area is Meridian.
Saturday's Meridian Community College Invitational Tourney brought in 18 teams to the Queen City's Sammie Davison Complex. Six were ranked in the top 10. Out of that six, three were from the Meridian area with Newton County ranked third, Northeast Lauderdale ranked fourth, and West Lauderdale ranked fifth.
The other three top ranked teams were No. 8 Moss Point, No. 9 New Hope, and No. 10 Amory. Though not ranked, Clarkdale and Meridian High have developed winning traditions in slow pitch softball over the years, and both are appear to be head for the state playoffs.
The MCC tournament is generally considered a measuring stick in prep softball.
Most coaches agree.
So what is it about this area that makes it a hotspot for softball? The answer can be found in many unsung heroes and a lot of desire.
Southeast Lady Tigers head coach Ryan Miller agreed. "A lot of credit goes to the summer programs. Those are the guys who don't get paid for all the time they put in," he said.
Another aspect of it is that softball is not just played here to give girls a sport, it's played to win state championships.
It was probably best said by West Lauderdale head coach Jerry Boatner.