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2nd clash of softball titans set

By By Marty Stamper/The Meridian Star
OCT. 4, 2001
Any time West Lauderdale and Newton County hook up on the softball diamond, you can expect two quality teams, something big at stake, and a lot of fans to see what happens.
Tonight's Division 5-3A contest at Decatur should be no exception.
The Lady Knights defeated Newton County 6-3 on Sept. 11 at Collinsville.
The teams met five times last year with Newton County handing West two of its four losses. West finished No. 1 in the state in Class 3A, while Newton County was No. 2.
Newton County is ranked No. 6 overall in the state this week. The Lady Cougars are 22-3 following Monday's 19-2 win at Carthage.
The seventh-ranked Lady Knights improved to 28-3 with Tuesday's 12-0 win at Choctaw Central.
West is 9-0 in Division 5-3A and has clinched a berth in the state playoffs, while Newton County is 8-1 in the league. Only Philadelphia, which has remaining games with both teams, has a shot at keeping the Lady Cougars out of the playoffs which begin on Oct. 16. The Lady Tornadoes are 6-4 in the league with a 20-0 loss to West and a 14-5 loss to Newton County.
In a somewhat bizarre twist, the Division 5-3A runner-up will host the Class 3A South State series should both teams from 5-3A advance that far.
In other divisions, Meridian, 19-9, has clinched a berth in the Class 5A state playoffs from Division 4-5A. Wayne County is also in as just two teams compete in Division 5-5A.
In Class 4A, New Hope has clinched one of the berths from Division 2-4A, while Louisville currently has the edge over Neshoba Central, 12-15, for second place.
In Division 5-4A, Northeast Lauderdale, 24-4, is running away from the field with Quitman still thick in the hunt for second place.
In Class 2A, Clarkdale, 15-10, and Enterprise, 11-8, have already wrapped up the playoff berths from Division 5-2A.
In Class 1A, Union, 18-3, and Nanih Waiya are atop the Division 6-1A standings. Union is 6-0 in the league, while Nanih Waiya is 7-1.
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.

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