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Softball tourney set for this weekend

By By Marty Stamper / EMG sports assistant
Oct. 11, 2002
Weather permitting, 20 of the state's slow-pitch softball teams will be heading to Meridian Saturday for the annual Meridian Community College Invitational Tournament.
Extended rain from Isidore could factor into the event as six of the teams are from or near the coast. That group includes George County, Poplarville, Harrison Central, Greene County, East Central, and Moss Point.
All school districts in Harrison County were closed Thursday and today. Schools in Hancock, Jackson, and Pearl River counties were closed on Wednesday with decisions pending about Thursday and Friday. Moss Point had an early release on Wednesday and was expected to be off today.
The bracket is set up to split the teams into four pools with each pool to have its champion. There will be no semifinals or championship game due to MHSAA cutbacks on the number of games allowed per season.
Pool 4 has four of the state's top 10 teams in No. 1 New Hope (18-1), the defending Class 4A state champion; No. 2 Moss Point (19-2), the defending Class 5A state champion; No. 6 West Lauderdale (15-2), and No. 7 Northeast
Lauderdale (15-2), the 2001 4A state runner-up. Also in the tournament is No. 8 Newton County (15-2), the defending Class 3A state champion.
The day's top matchup is slated for 6:35 p.m. when New Hope and Moss Point tangle.
Other interesting matchups involving ranked teams have Northeast Lauderdale taking on West Lauderdale in a year's series-deciding third game at 11 a.m., Newton County facing Meridian also at 11, New Hope taking on West Lauderdale at 1:10 p.m., Northeast Lauderdale facing New Hope at 3:20 in a rematch of last year's Class 4A state championship series, Newton County playing Harrison Central also at 3:20, and Moss Point taking on West Lauderdale at 5:30.