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franklin county times

Philly, West head to Jackson for finals

By By Marty Stamper / staff writer
Oct. 23, 2004
The 2004 MHSAA slow-pitch softball state championships are set for today at the V.A. Fields in Jackson with a pair of area teams still in the running.
In Class 3A, West Lauderdale (30-4) takes on Corinth (24-14) in a rematch of last year's finals which the Lady Knights won 13-12, 10-11, and 19-5.
In Class 2A, Philadelphia (22-8) makes its first trip to the finals since winning it all in 2000 when four teams advanced to the state tournament in each classification. The Lady Tornadoes will face Hamilton (28-8).
West Lauderdale swept Newton County 2-1 and 6-4 in the South State finals, while Corinth took two from Cleveland (9-3 and 4-3) in the North half. Both teams lost three seniors from last year's teams.
West shortstop Holly Herrington and pitcher Sommer Jones are looking for their third-straight state title.
West is 8-0 in the playoffs, while Corinth is 8-1 after losing the first game of its first series to Nettleton.
In addition to Herrington and Jones, other starters for the Lady Knights are Katie McAlister behind the plate, Josie Matthews at first base, Morgan Gullette at second base, Hayley Campbell at third base, Kristi Lantz in left field, Ashley Helms in left-center, Kayla Eubanks in right-center, and Sydney Cagle in right field.
Philadelphia has gone 8-1 in the playoffs with the lone loss coming in a three-game battle at Clarkdale. Hamilton is 8-0 in the postseason.
Philadelphia took the 2A South State title with a 3-1 and 7-0 sweep of St. Andrew's, while Hamilton disposed of Smithville 5-2 and 9-4.
Starting for Lee Killen's Lady Tornadoes are pitcher Shelby Smith, catcher Brittany Hodges, first baseman Alli Parsons, second baseman Tiara Logan, shortstop Shenique Brass, third baseman Shenese Hunter, left fielder Jillian Sparnecht, left-center fielder Candace Griffin, right-center fielder Erin Breland, and right fielder Shikira Moore.
In Class 4A, New Hope (33-4) goes for a fifth-straight championship and an eighth overall when the Lady Trojans take on East Central (14-10). East Central, known more for fast-pitch in recent years, won slow-pitch state crowns in 1992 and 1993.
Of its four losses, New Hope lost twice to Neshoba Central. The Lady Trojans swept Amory 8-1 and 9-3 in the 3A North State finals.
East Central qualified as the No. 4 team out of Division 8-4A with a shaky 6-8 overall mark, but swept Brookhaven 7-0 and 1-0 in the 4A South State finals to advance to the championship round.
In Class 5A, top-ranked and defending state champion Grenada (29-2) looks to add another title against Picayune (24-3). Both are 6-0 in the playoffs.
Grenada swept Tupelo 6-0 and 19-2 in the North half while Picayune ousted Moss Point 7-5 and 12-5 in the South State finals.
One of Picayune's losses was a 14-1 thrashing by Newton County in the Rush/MCC Tournament in late September. West Lauderdale also beat Picayune 8-7 in that same tournament.
In Class 1A, Bogue Chitto (27-10) takes on Ingomar (30-8).
Bogue Chitto knocked off defending 1A state champion Union 4-5, 10-4, and 8-4 for the South State championship.
In making its third-straight trip to the 1A state finals, Ingomar dropped its North State opener 12-1 to Myrtle before rebounding with 5-3 and 10-5 wins.
Each series is scheduled to get under way at 11 a.m.
This year's finals are likely be remembered as much for who didn't make it as much as for who did.
Not qualifying for this year's main event are seven-time state champion Moss Point in Class 5A, four-time state champion Clarkdale and three-time state champion Mooreville in Class 2A, and defending state champion Union and four-time state champion Myrtle in Class 1A.

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