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Ruling favors C'dale

By By Fredie Carmichael / staff writer
Oct. 23, 2002
The Mississippi High School Activities Association Tuesday denied Mercy Cross' protest against Clarkdale's slow-pitch softball team, allowing the Lady Bulldogs to continue with its playoff run today at 5 p.m.
Coaches from Mercy Cross, who suffered two consecutive lopsided losses to the Lady Dogs 14-1 and 7-0 in a best-of-three 2A playoff series on Saturday, publicly complained that some of the softball bats used by Clarkdale were not legal.
The officially protested the games at the MHSAA offices in Clinton on Tuesday.
MHSAA executive director Ennis Proctor said the bats were legal and that the protest was not valid because it was made at the wrong time.
Due to the protest, Clarkdale's semi-final playoff series with Sumrall was pushed back until 5 p.m. today at Sumrall. The Lady Bulldogs were originally scheduled to play the best-of-three series on Tuesday.
Clarkdale, widely regarded as one of the state's top softball programs, is seeking its fourth slow-pitch softball state championship. The Lady Dogs claimed their first fast-pitch title earlier this year.
One of the Clarkdale bats Mercy Cross protested was the Miken Velocit-E Ultra II slow-pitch softball bat. The bat just recently hit the market and Clarkdale was one of the first local teams to use it.
The bat is fully compliant with the Amateur Softball Association.
Tommy Little, owner of Judge Little Company Inc., said Clarkdale ordered the "high-end" bat from them.
Proctor said even though the bat is legal and the ruling was "the best decision for everyone, I'm sure that Mercy Cross felt that it wasn't the best decision."
Clarkdale head coach Rick Roberson could not be reached for comment.