Meridian opens 5A prep playoffs
From staff reports
April 16, 2002
The Meridian Wildcats, 27-5, will open the Class 5A baseball playoffs on Thursday at 7 p.m. at John Moss Field.
The Petal Panthers, runners-up from Division 6, will be the opponent. The same two teams will meet on Friday in Petal for game two of the best of three series. At Quitman, the Panthers (23-7) of head coach Brett Rigby will entertain McComb at 7 p.m. at Panther FIeld. The same two teams will meet in game two on Friday in McComb.
It must be magic
In the slow-pitch softball season in the fall, Lake shortstop Jeri Leigh Wooten hit a grand slam home run at Edinburg. This spring, her boyfriend, catcher/pitcher Brandon Burrus, hit a grand slam at, you guessed it, Edinburg.
Neshoba Central freshman pitcher Kadye Chandler finished strong in the fast-pitch softball season. In two of her latest outings, Chandler tossed a no-hitter in an 8-0 win over Aberdeen and struck out 11 in a 3-1 loss to New Hope.
Meridian head coach Thad George will send out his Wildcat net team in Thursday's Division 5-5A Tournament.
George, in 12 seasons as coach, as directed the Wildcats to three state championships. The titles came in three straight years in 1991, 1992 and 1993. He has two state runners-up teams in 1995 and 1996.
Meridian has had 11 individual state champions. The last came in 1999 when Erin Brown and Britney Peek won the 5A Girls Doubles title. In 1998, Allison Shannon and Sam Porter won the 5A Mixed Doubles. The Wildcats could add a boys singles title behind David Ray. The junior is ranked nationally in boys singles. He is 11-0 this season and made the 5A State finals last year before falling to Madison Central's John Hill.
Ray joins Shirley
KImberly Shirley, who along with Ian Makey won the 1996 5A Mixed Doubles title, was the career leader in wins as a Wildcat netter. She had 79 career wins. Ray matched that total with his 79th win on Thursday. He is 11-0 on the season after entering the year with 68 match wins.
The Newton Tigers won the Division 5-2A baseball race with a perfect 8-0 league mark. The Tigers outscored their division competition 90-5. Clarkdale finished second.
Butler out at Biloxi
Biloxi High School baseball coach Chuck Butler was relieved of his coaching duties for the remainder of the 2002 season in the aftermath of his ejection for disputing a call in a game at St. Martin.
Butler won the Class 5A state championship in 1988, his first season with the Indians.
Biloxi won division championships in 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, and 1995 under Butler. Kevin Burdine served as interim coach the remainder of the season.
In a 23-0, 20-0 doubleheader sweep of hapless Thomastown, Lake's Eric Watkins and Jason McGee combined to throw back-to-back no-hit shutouts. Lake had only 16 hits in the twinbill.
Lady Cougars rule
The Newton County Lady Cougars completed play in Division 5-3A fast-pitch softball with a perfect 6-0 mark. The Lady Cougars outscored Carthage, Choctaw Central, and Philadelphia twice each by an 89-11 combined margin. Philadelphia finished in second place in the division.
Lady Jackets win
The Union Lady Jackets won the Division 4-1A fast-pitch softball race with an 8-0 mark. Union outscored Winona, Ackerman, Nanih Waiya, and Noxapater twice each by a 101-9 margin. Union, 21-8, has won 20 of its last 22 games.