Union, Neshoba Central leading at MCC tourney
QUICK THROW – Northeast's Lauren Webb throws to first for a double play after tagging West Lauderdale's Holly Herrington out a second base during Saturday's Meridian Community College High School Invitational Softball Tournament. Photo by Carisa McCain / The Meridian Star
By Rocky Higginbotham / special to The Star
Sept. 29, 2002
Area softball teams proved Saturday they are capable of playing with the state's best in the annual Meridian Community College high school slow-pitch tournament.
In fact, three of the four ranked teams in the tournament at the Sammie Davidson Complex West Lauderdale, Northeast Lauderdale and Newton County each went 2-2 against arguably the toughest competition, while Meridian also faced a tough slate but went 2-2 and won its respective pool.
Union and Neshoba Central were the only two undefeated teams in the event, each winning their pools. Choctaw Central and Southeast Lauderdale each went 2-2, while Clarkdale was 1-3.
Here's a recap of the day's games:
Southeast 10, Choctaw Central 8: The Lady Tigers scored four times in the top of the seventh to break a 6-6 tie.
Sam Smith had a homer, single and two runs for Southeast, while Willa Thomas singled, tripled and scored twice for Choctaw.
Union 19, Columbus 8: Marley Smith went 4-for-4 with three RBIs and Lauren White was 3-for-3 with five RBIs to pace the Lady Yellowjackets.
Loren Kennedy homered, singled and drove home four, while LaSaundra Harrison was 3-for-3 with a triple.
Neshoba Central 11, Clarkdale 1: The Lady Rockets scored six times in the top of the first and never looked back.
Lindsey Smith, Jessi Nowell and Celeste Burt had three hits apiece for Neshoba. JorD'an Orr had a single, triple and a run for Clarkdale.
Columbus 11, Southeast 5: The Lady Falcons jumped to a 7-1 lead after two innings and made it stand.
Lindsey Raines scored a pair of runs for the Lady Tigers.
Union 22, Greene County 0: The Lady Yellowjackets scored 11 times in the third inning and smoked Greene County.
Smith, White and Thomas were all 4-for-4 in the contest with a combined nine runs scored.
Clarkdale 9, Poplarville 2: Orr and Felicia Kirksey had two hits apiece as the Lady Bulldogs knocked off Poplarville.
Clarkdale scored three runs each in the second and fourth innings.
Neshoba Central 10, George County 1: The lady Rockets scored five times in the second inning and whipped the Lady Rebels.
Alana Moore had three hits to lead Neshoba.
West Lauderdale 5, Northeast Lauderdale 4: The Lady Trojans fell behind 3-0, then came up short in seventh-inning rally when they left the bases loaded.
West got a single and triple from Courtney Godwin and two hits apiece from J.J. Huggins and Holly Herrington. Raleigh Odom tripled, Jayme Gardner had two hits and Lauren Webb a single and two runs for Northeast.
Choctaw Central 17, Greene County 4: The Lady Warriors broke open a tight game with seven runs in the third inning.
Ahinah Alex scored three runs to pace Choctaw Central.
Meridian 5, Newton County 4: The Lady Wildcats fell behind 3-0 in the first inning, but rallied with three of their own to overcome a 4-2 deficit in the sixth.
Raven Williams had two hits, Valerie Sherman had a single and two runs and Carsheena Blanks a double for MHS. Kristin Chaney singled, homered and scored twice for Newton County.
Union 9, Southeast 0: The Lady Jackets broke it open with six runs in the bottom of the third.
Smith, Madison Brantley, Tiffany Thomas and Morgan Breland all had two hits for Union while Southeast had just four hits total.
Neshoba Central 6, Tupelo 0: The Lady Rockets got three hits from Lindsey Smith and topped Class 5A Tupelo.
Neshoba got single runs in the second, third, sixth and seventh innings and two in the fifth.
Choctaw Central 11, Columbus 10: The Lady Warriors got one run in the seventh to tie it, then another in the eighth inning to beat Class 5A Columbus.
LaChante Joe had two hits and three runs for Choctaw Central.
Neshoba Central 6, Poplarville 3: The Lady Rockets overcame a 3-1 deficit with four runs in the bottom of the fourth.
Smith was 4-for-4 with a triple to lead Neshoba Central.
Union 8, Choctaw Central 4: The Lady Jackets got four runs in the top of the fifth to take a come-from-behind win.
Lauren White ripped a triple and a single and scored two runs to lead Union, while Thomas had three hits for Choctaw.
Tupelo 10, Clarkdale 0: The Lady Wave scored four times in the third to break a scoreless game and went on to blank Clarkdale.
The Lady Bulldogs scattered six hits.
Southeast 10, Greene County 9: After blowing an early 4-0 lead, Southeast scored five times in the top of the seventh to overcome a 9-5 deficit.
Smith had a pair of hits and two runs scored for Southeast.
New Hope 9, Northeast Lauderdale 1: The Lady Trojans never trailed in a rematch of last year's Class 4A state championship series.
Raleigh Odom singled and scored Northeast's only run. Amber Gray had two hits for Northeast, which had seven errors. Jessica Hale was 3-for-3 with a home run to lead New Hope.
Natchez 10, Meridian 5: Natchez used a four-run third inning to jump in front of Meridian and top the Lady Wildcats.
Blanks had a double, triple and two runs and Ebonee Ball two hits for MHS.
Harrison Central 2, Newton County 0: After leaving the bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth, the Red Rebelettes scratched out a pair of runs in the sixth to break a scoreless tie and topple Newton County.
West Lauderdale 18, Petal 5: Amy Frazier was 3-for-4 with four runs and Kirby Rutledge had two hits and three runs to lead West.
The Lady Knights scored four runs each in the first and second innings to take command.
New Hope 11, West Lauderdale 1: The Lady Trojans scored three times in the first and never looked back in beating West.
Laura Lee Holman and Courtney Gordon both went 3-for-4 to lead New Hope, while West was retired in order in three of the five innings.
Meridian 3, Harrison Central 1: After both teams scored a single run in the seventh, Meridian got two in the top of the eighth and edged Harrison Central.
Blanks, Sherman and Laura Bowles all had big hits in the decisive eighth inning.
Newton County 15, Natchez 4: After scoring just one run in their previous 13 at-bats, the Lady Cougars cranked up the bats and run-ruled Natchez.
Newton County got a single and homer from Dominique Mapp, three hits and three runs apiece from Kristin Chaney and Suzanne Chaney and two hits and two runs each from Holly Jackson and Jessica Sheehan. Shelley Ferguson doubled and scored twice.
Northeast 17, Petal 8: The Lady Trojans erased a 3-0 deficit with seven runs in the third inning, then overcame an 8-7 margin with a 10-run sixth-inning rally.
Odom was 4-for-5 with two runs, while Gray, Gardner and Grace Ann Watkins all had two hits apiece for Northeast.
Harrison Central 8, West Lauderdale 7: In another seesaw battle, the Red Rebelettes won it with a single run in the bottom of the seventh.
Brandi Farmer was 3-for-4 with a home run and the game-winning hit, while Rutledge was 3-for-4 with two runs to lead West. Huggins and Brook Bounds each had two hits for the Lady Knights.