Ferguson, Smith come back from wreck

By Staff
GOT HER n Mississippi Diamond Duster's Jessica Lawrence turns double play against Columbus Lady Trojan's Shakima Nicholson. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star.
By Marty Stamper/The Meridian Star
Aug. 4, 2001
As the 2001 spring fast-pitch softball season was winding down, Newton County's Shelly Ferguson and Jennifer Smith were involved in a near-tragic automobile accident.
It was Friday April 13 and the Lady Cougars had just wrapped up their regular season with a 4-3 10-inning win over Clinton at Decatur. The two went to Meridian to eat, then headed home.
Smith suffered a knee injury from being hit by the air bag. Ferguson's injuries were much more severe. She was airlifted to Jackson where she remained in a hospital for nearly a week. Part of her medication left her extremely weak and she missed the state playoffs which began the week following the wreck.
Ferguson and Smith are both playing in the 2001 ASA Girls 16-Under National Tournament with the Structural Steel Heartbreakers of Hickory.
Ferguson went 2-for-4 in a 6-5 loss to Troy's Sports Center Powerhouse of Mabelvale, Ark.; 3-for-4 in a 14-2 blowout win over Sandy Acres of White Hall, Ark. in the losers' bracket; and 1-for-3 in a 4-1 elimination win over Biloxi. That's 6-for-11 for the day and a .545 batting average.
Smith went 1-for-4 against Powerhouse, 2-for-3 against Sandy Acres, and 2-for-3 against Biloxi for a 5-for-10 day.
The two will begin their high school slow-pitch season Thursday in the Newton County tournament.
Marty Stamper is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at mstamper@themeridianstar.com or call him at 693-1551, ext. 3234.