STARKVILLE — It’s official Jamie Mitchell is the man who’s charged with leading Starkville High School football back to prominence. News broke a month ago that Mitchell, who compiled a 40-10 record in four seasons at Itawamba Agricultural High School, had been tabbed as Starkville’s coach. Tuesday night, the Starkville school board made it official as Mitchell was voted to take over a program coming off back-to-back losing seasons.
Uncle Mo’ is someone all teams love to have on their side. When you’re going good, like holding the opponent scoreless through the first five innings, the push you get from momentum can help you make things look easy. But as soon as you lose that wave, performing even the easiest tasks can become the most difficult things imaginable. The New Hope High School baseball team experienced both ends of the spectrum Tuesday night. Unfortunately for the Trojans, they lost the momentum, regained it, and then lost it again in a 10-8 loss to Saltillo in a Class 5A Division 2, District 1 game at Trojan Field.
After beating Columbus by the 10-run rule earlier in the season, Starkville High School softball coach Mimi Milling wasn’t expecting the close contest the Lady Jackets got in a rematch Tuesday. Starkville evened its Class 6A, District 2 record by holding off Columbus 12-6, denying the Lady Falcons’ bid for their first win of the season. The Lady Yellow Jackets scored three runs in the top of the seventh inning and pitcher Jadee Sexton retired the side in order in the bottom of the inning to seal the win.
The New Hope High School fast-pitch softball team is ready. After an unusually long road trip due in part to weather-related problems to start the season, the Lady Trojans finally returned home Tuesday, and did so in style. Lauren Holifield had three hits, including two triples, to lead a 10-hit attack in New Hope’s 15-0 victory against West Point in a Class 5A, Division 3, District 1 victory. The game was called in the bottom of the third inning due to the mercy rule.
DEKALB –– Rowdy Rigdon and Cole Newman combined on a three-hit shutout Tuesday to pitch the Central Academy baseball team past Kemper Academy 12-0 for a Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class A, North Central District win. Rigdon (2-1) allowed one hit and struck out two in three innings and Newman have up two hits and fanned four in two innings as the Vikings won by the 10-run rule in five innings. Central Academy (5-3, 5-1 district) pounded out 13 hits, led by Ferris MaGuire with a double and two singles, Hunter Campbell with a double and single, and Redman Butler and Trevor Eaves with two singles each. Contributing a single each were Rigdown, Newman, Will Disbrow and Drew Pearson.
HAMILTON — Dylan Earnest had an edge on Austin Welch going into the season. The Hamilton High School senior knew he would be a fixture on the mound and in the field for the Lions. Meanwhile, Welch, a sophomore, had no idea what to expect entering the 2010 season.
Gabe Franks never doubted himself. Thanks to plenty of coaching from his father, Gary, and other age-group coaches, Franks always believed one day he would realize a goal to play baseball in college.
Champions need killer instincts. It remains to be seen whether the New Hope High School baseball team will navigate through a difficult district and regional schedule to play for a Class 5A state title. But the Trojans showed Friday they are developing a knack for making opponents pay for their mistakes.
It’s only natural for a pitcher to want to keep his arm warm. But superstition rules baseball, so it shouldn’t be surprising a pitcher would accept having a cold arm in return for a little success. Based on his performance the past two nights, Blake Roberts appears ready to let his right arm withstand the elements for the rest of the season.
The Hamilton High School softball team bounced back from a loss to Nettleton by shutting out Columbus 11-0 on Thursday. The Lady Lions had just six hits, but scored five runs on errors, passed balls and wild pitches. Hamilton (9-8) got a complete game from pitcher Anna Imel, who gave up two hits and struck out six in five innings.
Nick Durrah was 4-for-4 with two doubles, a home run, and five RBIs Thursday night to lead the Columbus High School baseball team to a 13-7 victory against South Panola in a Class 6A, Division 2, District 4 game at Columbus High. The win helped Columbus (9-8, 2-2 district) avenge a 3-2 loss in eight innings to South Panola on Tuesday. Stefan Hairston had three hits, including a triple, and Tyji Hawkins (home run), Josh Tentoni, and Jimmy Cockrell each had two hits.
STARKVILLE — A marathon ensued Wednesday at Volunteer Field, as Starkville Academy and Heritage Academy played a doubleheader of back-and-forth baseball that resulted in the home team taking a pair of much-needed conference wins.
Danté Oliver didn’t have to be in the “fast” heat Saturday to win two titles.
STARKVILLE — Heath Walker never wanted to quit playing soccer, so he decided to sign on with Junior Noel’s rebuilding project at East Mississippi Community College. The Starkville Academy defender/midfielder contemplated the Lions’ offer for nearly two months before signing a National Letter of Intent Wednesday to play in Scooba for the next two years.
The South Lamar High School softball team will honor the memory of one of its former players when it plays host to the Lamar County Tournament. South Lamar will remember Madison Orr, who was killed in an automobile accident March 30, 2009. Orr was a seventh-grader who was killed on Highway 17 between Millport, Ala., and Reform, Ala., while returning home after school.
Rachel Hollivay is going to be busy again this spring and summer. The New Hope High School sophomore, who already is recognized as one of the state’s top prep girls basketball players, has been invited by USA Basketball to participate in the 2010 Under-17 National Team Trials on June 8-11 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. “It means a lot,” Hollivay said. “I am looking forward to going back so I can work harder to make the team this time.”
HAMILTON — It might not seem like it, but the marathon is only approaching the halfway point for the Hamilton and West Lowndes high school baseball teams. Poor weather has made it seem like the teams have been at it longer, canceling several dates and making it even tougher to find dry time on the field. On Tuesday, both teams showed they are still striving to find their consistency in a game that featured plenty of action on every play.
BATESVILLE — Josh Tentoni's two-run home run in the top of the seventh inning gave the Columbus High School baseball team a one-run lead, but the Falcons couldn't hold it, falling to South Panola 3-2 in eight innings Tuesday in a Class 6A, Division 2, District 4 game. Nick Durrah struck out the first two batters in the bottom of the seventh inning, but the next batter reached on an error and later scored on a passed ball to tie the game. Stefan Hairston relieved Durrah to start the eighth and retired the first two batters before pinch hitter Alan Horne doubled and scored on a bloop single by Matt Brown.
Throwing a curveball for a strike was becoming a nuisance for Tyji Hawkins. Finding a groove at the plate was equally as difficult for Josh Tentoni. The Columbus High School seniors might have solved their problems on Friday night, and, in the process, set the Falcons up to accomplish some big things this season.
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