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Union looking to make some noise in Class 1A play

By By Marty Stamper / EMG sports assistant
Aug. 15, 2002
UNION A year ago, the Union Lady Jackets set a school record for wins in slow-pitch softball as they went 26-7.
But falling in a best-of-three series for the Class 1A South State championship at Nanih Waiya still leaves a bad taste, especially considering Union swept Nanih Waiya 20-6, 9-7, and 11-1 during the regular season.
Only one senior was lost from the 2001 team, just like the graduation of the 2000 squad. Obviously, plenty of underclassmen have had to fill in and now have plenty of experience. Over the last two seasons, the Lady Jackets are 46-20.
The two seniors this fall are shortstop Marley Smith and left-center fielder LaSaundra Harrison. Smith batted .463 in 2001 with nine doubles and 26 RBIs. Harrison hit .419 with 27 RBIs.
Another key returnee is junior first baseman Lauren White, who played on the Structural Steel Heartbreakers this summer, winning ASA, NSA, and USSSA state championships and finishing in the top three in three national tournaments.
As a sophomore, White batted a team-high .517 with 12 doubles, 12 triples, and 56 RBIs.
Other returning starters are junior pitcher Madison Brantley (.321), sophomore second baseman Morgan Breland (.298, 6 2b, 20 RBI), sophomore outfielder Morgan Milling (.464, 8 2b, 5 3b, 28 RBI), and sophomore catcher Tiffany Thomas (.475, 12 2b, 42 RBI). Sophomore Loren Kennedy (.260) and junior Lindsay Walker (.342) split time in the outfield a year ago.
Union competes in Division 6-1A with Sebastopol, Lake, Edinburg, Nanih Waiya, and Noxapater.
Union doesn't duck the competition early as the August portion of the schedule has 2001 Class 3A state champion Newton County, traditional 3A powerhouse West Lauderdale, 2001 Class 2A state runner-up Clarkdale, Class 4A schools Louisville and Neshoba Central, and Class 3A member Choctaw Central.
Union will also play in tournaments this fall at New Hope and in the Meridian Community College Invitational.