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Lady Cats make move to NE Park

By By Jeff Byrd / staff writer
Aug. 15, 2002
The Meridian High School slow-pitch softball team has re-located. Instead of playing and practicing at the Sammie Davidson Complex on the west side of town, the Lady Wildcats are now across town at Northeast Park.
Veteran head coach Thad George said the move to the newer complex makes sense for his team.
"Northeast Park was made for the girls," George said. "Plus, it has a dirt infield, which I like for softball."
Last year, in their final year at Sammie Davidson, Meridian went 21-12 and advanced to the second round of the 5A playoffs. The Lady Wildcats fell to Tupelo two games to one in a best-of-three series at Davidson Park.
George lost four players off that team, and the team faces a rebuilding job this fall.
"We've got a lot of work to do," George said.
Gone from last year's team are first baseman Andrea Daniel, outfielders Stephanie Mosely and Stephanie Nelson and shortstop Erin Hodges.
George, though, may have gotten a boost from the first-year of the Meridian fast-pitch program. Coach Susan Frazier was able to play a pair of Northwest students in Ebonee Ball and Artesian Boyd a lot last spring. Both players are infielders.
"Our defense should be better up the middle with those two," George said. Ball will start at shortstop and Boyd will be at second base. Both are ninth graders.
Valerie Sherman, who hit the ball well late in the season, will move from catcher to first base.
Third base is a bit unsettled as three players are vying for time. Megan Waters is in front with Raven Williams and Ashley Brown contending.
Catcher will have a platoon of Natalie Cole and Tommie Gaddie.
Erin Murphy heads back to left-center field. Carsheena Blanks is back in right-center field. Laura Bowles, who pitched last season, will play left field this year.
The pitching duties will be split between Hallie Pearson and Brittany Simmons.
The lone spot that is still up in the air is in right field.
Meridian opened its season Tuesday with a 23-5 road win against division foe Wayne County. The Lady Wildcats host Choctaw Central today, then head to Southeast Lauderdale on Aug. 20 and then will host the Meridian Invitational at Northeast Park on Aug. 24. South State 2A champ Clarkdale visits on Aug. 27. Meridian then heads back to division play with a road game at Brandon on Aug. 29.