Slow-pitch teams ready for classic
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 1:00 AM
This will be a classic weekend for the area slow-pitch softball teams.
Kayla Robertson (16) is safe on a close play at home.
The members of the Mississippi High School Activities Association will be able to play full 'classic' games Saturday which may count on their record, or not. The regular season will start up next week.
Philadelphia, Neshoba Central and Union will be playing in the Newton County Classic while Choctaw Central will play in the Kosciusko Classic. The season will start the following week.
Leake Academy, meanwhile, is already into its fast-pitch season. Both of the Rebelettes games last week were affected by the weather.
Last week, the Lady Rockets, Philadelphia and Choctaw Central played in the Neshoba Central Jamboree. Union did not play in a jamboree. Jamborees are practice games and do not count on a team's record.
Newton County Classic
Here is the schedule for the Newton County Classic which will be Saturday at Newton County High School.
9 a.m. - Union vs. Newton County
10:10 a.m. - Philadelphia vs. Clarkdale
11:20 a.m. - Philadelphia vs. Union
12:30 p.m. - Newton County vs. Quitman
1:40 p.m. - Clarkdale vs. South Pontotoc
2:50 p.m. - Neshoba Central vs. Quitman
4 p.m. - Petal vs. South Pontotoc
5:10 p.m. - Neshoba Central vs. NW Rankin
6:20 p.m. - West Lauderdale vs. Petal
7:30 p.m. - West Lauderdale vs. NW Rankin
The Lady Rockets' field was well used last Saturday with the Neshoba Central Jamboree. Rain may have caused a short delay at one point, but for the most part, the teams played through it.
The Lady Rockets picked up wins over West Harrison 16-0 and West Lauderdale 3-2. Hailey Lunderman hit a home run in the first game.
While Neshoba Central Coach Trae Embry was pleased with the wins, he felt his two-time defending state slow-pitch champions have plenty of room for improvement.
"We are looking for consistency," Embry said. "We still have some decisions to make as to who plays where. We'll just keep practicing and working hard."
The Lady Tornadoes split their jamboree games, defeating Leake Central 10-0 and losing to Enterprise 3-1.
Philadelphia had five hits against Enterprise and 13 against Leake Central.
"Defense-wise, we have a lot of work to do," Coach Austin McNair said. "We played well against Leake Central, not so well against Enterprise. I thought Kambresha Griffin pitched well. We just have to be more focused."
McNair said he was able to rotate more players into the games.
"We have some depth this season," McNair said.
The Union Lady Yellowjackets will see their first action this week in the Newton County Classic.
They will have their hands full as they take on Newton County to open the classic at 9 a.m. and then face Philadelphia at 11:20 a.m.
Last year, the Lady Yellowjackets started slow but picked up enough Region 5-2A victories to make the playoffs. Coach Jacob Casey said the team will be young once again but added that they have a year of experience.
"We have two seniors, two juniors, one sophomore and the rest are freshmen and younger," Casey said. "But most got to play last year and that's going to help.
"We always play a tough non-region schedule and that helps us get ready for our region games. Those are the ones that count."
Haley Morgan will be the pitcher for Union. Mackenzie Dolan is the first baseman while Maycee Knight will be at second base. Averi Pender is the shortstop and Lilly Burton is the third baseman. Anna Rigdon and Macy Lott will both see action at catcher. The outfield will be made up of Cassie Smith, Parker Breland, Kristen Kennedy and Baliegh Mitchell.
"Our goal is to win our district and to make the playoffs," Casey said. "We may be young but we have some experience and I think we'll be ready."
Choctaw Central took a 5-4 jamboree win over West Lauderdale and battled Northeast Lauderdale to a 1-1 tie.
The Lady Warriors out hit West Lauderdale 11-9. Choctaw Central scored two in the second, two in the third and one in the fourth. West scored four runs in the second inning. Tiara Joe was the winning pitcher. Darian Tubby and Maleigh Joe both hit a double and a single while Jada Sockey had two hits.
Both Choctaw Central and Northeast Lauderdale scored a run in the first inning and that's how it stood until the end. Sockey had two hits and Klairner Bell hit a double. Joe was the pitcher.
The Lady Warriors will play two games in the Kosciusko Classic on Saturday.
"We have to work on the simple things," Coach Aaron Terrell said. "We didn't play badly but there are a lot of things we need to fix and the jamboree was a good place to start working on them."
Both Leake Academy fast-pitch games were hampered by the weather last week.
Tuesday's game with Tri-County was rained out and Thursday's game with Winston was stopped in their third inning because of lightning. Leake Academy led 8-0 at the time.
The Rebelettes stand at 4-0 on the season. Leake Academy will travel to Manchester on Tuesday and Winston on Thursday.