Six area teams alive in softball playoffs
By By Marty Stamper / EMG sports assistant
Oct. 21, 2002
All six area slow-pitch softball teams that advanced to the second round of the state playoffs last Saturday qualified for third round best-of-three series on Tuesday.
Another epic battle is set for Collinsville Tuesday at 5 p.m. as Division 5-3A runner-up West Lauderdale, 25-6, hosts Division 5-3A champion Newton County, 29-4, for the Class 3A South State championship. The two met for last year's Class 3A South State title at Decatur with Newton County winning in two games, 7-1 and 9-1. The Lady Cougars went on to win the Class 3A state championship.
Both teams are 4-0 in the first two rounds of the 2002 playoffs. Newton County has outscored Franklin County and West Marion 48-4, while West Lauderdale has outscored North Pike and Purvis 52-5.
The two split a pair of regular season games with West winning 6-2 at Collinsville and the Lady Cougars taking a 5-1 victory at Decatur.
A similar scenario will play out near Columbus as Division 2-4A champion New Hope, 30-2, hosts Division 2-4A runner-up Neshoba Central, 24-6, for the Class 4A North half title.
These two also split a pair of regular season games with Neshoba beating the top-ranked Lady Trojans 4-3 at Philadelphia and New Hope winning 11-1 on its home field.
Both teams are 4-0 in the playoffs with Neshoba thumping Yazoo City and Tishomingo County 46-7 and New Hope spanking Ridgeland and Grenada 46-4.
Also in Class 4A, Division 5-4A champion Northeast Lauderdale, 26-8, hosts Division 7-4A champion Brookhaven, 24-6, for the Class 4A South State crown. The two met in the second round of the 2001 state playoffs with Northeast winning 3-0 and 7-3.
In Class 2A, Division 5-2A champion Clarkdale (21-11-1) travels to Division 7-2A champion Sumrall (20-5) for the Class 2A South State series at 5 p.m. The 2001 Class 2A state runner-up Lady Bulldogs are 4-0 in this year's playoffs, outscoring Seminary and Mercy Cross 38-8. Sumrall has won its four playoffs games over Enterprise and St. John by a 31-13 margin.
In Class 1A, Division 6-1A champion Union, 27-6, heads to the Brookhaven area to take on Division 8-1A champion West Lincoln, 19-8. Union finished 26-7 a year ago, while the Lady Bears were 23-10. Both had their seasons ended by Nanih Waiya in the playoffs.
The Lady Jackets are 4-1 in the 2002 playoffs, outscoring Bogue Chitto 29-10 and Mize 25-3. West Lincoln has swept its first two series, outscoring Nanih Waiya 17-7 and Puckett 9-3.
Tuesday's winners advance to Saturday's state championships in Jackson at the V.A. Fields.
Northeast Lauderdale 4-8-4
The Lady Trojans spotted Poplarville a 1-0 lead in the second-round series Saturday at Poplarville before rallying to take the next two games to stay in the playoff hunt.
In the opener, Poplarville outhit Northeast 11-7. Jana Olczak went 2-for-3 to lead the Lady Trojans. Blair Rawson (24-8) took the loss.
In the second game, Northeast outhit the Lady Hornets 14-10 in taking an 8-6 win. Rawson went 3-for-3 with a double and a triple. Lauren Webb went 3-for-4 with a double. Danielle McCoy went 2-for-3 with a triple and Raleigh Odom had a two-run homer. Rawson (25-8) got the win.
The Lady Trojans wrapped up the series with a 4-1 win in the third game. Odom was 3-for-3 with a double and Rawson was 2-for-3 with a double. McCoy and Jayme Gardner both had two singles. Rawson (26-8) got the win.