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New Hope wins slugfest in MCC championship finals

By By Marty Stamper\The Meridian Star
September 30, 2001
New Hope scored eight times in the top of the seventh inning to snap a 20-20 tie in taking a 28-20 victory over Amory in the finals of the 13th-annual Meridian Community College Invitational Tournament Saturday.
No. 9 New Hope led 12-5 after 2 1/2 innings before No. 10 Amory rallied for a dozen runs over the third and fourth frames to close to within 18-17.
Knotted at 20-20 heading into the top of the seventh, New Hope took the lead for good on a double off the fence in center field by shortstop Laura Lee Holman. Two more runs scored on a throwing error as the Lady Trojans grabbed a 23-20 advantage. Nikki Petty capped the inning with a bases-loaded triple.
Holman, Courtney Gordon, Casey Colvin, Laura Oswalt, and Stephanie West each had three hits for defending Class 4A state champion New Hope, 25-4.
Stacy McCommon had four hits for defending MCC Tournament champion Amory, 27-6, with Jessica Neal having three hits.
New Hope defeated third-ranked Newton County 8-4 in one semifinal. Newton County, 21-3, took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning on a two-run triple by Joy Cavenaugh that scored Kristin Chaney and Dominique Mapp.
New Hope pulled even with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third with one scoring on an error and the other coming on a triple by Holman that nearly cleared the fence in center field.
The Lady Cougars rallied from a 3-2 deficit to go up 4-3 with a pair of runs in the top of the sixth. Mapp hit a solo homer to center field. Cavenaugh followed with a double down the left field line and scored on a triple to center by Shelly Ferguson, who was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.
New Hope erupted for five runs in the bottom of the sixth with Petty's three-run homer to right field being the big hit.
Cavenaugh went 3-for-3 for the Lady Cougars. Ferguson had two of Newton County's 10 hits.
Newton County stranded four runners in scoring position with less than two outs.
Newton County went 4-1 for the day, beating Neshoba Central (15-4), Meridian (13-5), Poplarville (12-2), and Columbus (16-6) before losing to New Hope.
Petty, Ashley Bush, Oswalt, West, and Rachel Baucom each had two hits for New Hope.
Amory reached the finals with a 16-7 semifinal win over George County, 19-5.
In other games involving area teams:
No. 4 Northeast Lauderdale, 24-4, went 3-1 as the Lady Trojans beat Southeast Lauderdale 25-15, lost 4-3 to George County, and then beat Morton 15-4 and Moss Point 9-2.
No. 5 West Lauderdale, 27-3, also went 3-1 as the Lady Knights beat Greene County 11-1 and Petal 12-2, lost 11-5 to Amory, and beat East Central 12-4.
Meridian, 18-9, went 3-1 as the Lady Wildcats beat Neshoba Central 16-14, lost 13-5 to Newton County, andn then beat Columbus 8-1 and Poplarville 9-8.
Neshoba Central, 12-14, went 1-3 as the Lady Rockets lost 15-4 to Newton County, 16-14 to Meridian, and 8-1 to Poplarville, before beating Columbus 13-7.
Clarkdale, 15-10, went 2-2 as the Lady Bulldogs beat Wayne County 17-5, lost 15-5 to New Hope, beat East Central 15-12, and lost 10-5 to Greene County.
Southeast Lauderdale, 4-20, went 1-3 as the Lady Tigers lost to Northeast Lauderdale 25-15, 12-0 to Moss Point, and 17-2 to George County before beating Morton 8-6.
Wayne County went 0-4 as the Lady War Eagles lost 17-5 to Clarkdale, 13-1 to East Central, 17-6 to New Hope, and 23-8 to Amory.
Marty Stamper is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at or call him at 693-1551, ext. 3234.