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Meridian Invitational set for Northeast Park

By By Marty Stamper / EMG sports assistant
Aug. 23, 2002
Cutting the number of slow-pitch softball games a Mississippi High School Activities Association member team can play this fall has cut into the annual Meridian High School Invitational Tournament as well.
The 2001 MHS tournament saw 13 teams entered and the Lady Trojans of Northeast Lauderdale come away with the championship after beating West Lauderdale 7-4 in the semifinals and Meridian 4-3 in the finals.
This year's event has only nine teams entered as the number of games for the regular season has been trimmed from 34 to 29. Teams will no longer have any doubt about how many games they will play in the tournament as all teams are guaranteed four contests. In the past, some have played four, others five, and those reaching the title game played six.
This year's tournament also has a new site Northeast Complex which George says is tailor-made for girls.
The teams are divided into three pools. In Group I are Meridian, Southeast Lauderdale, and Wayne County. In Group II are Lawrence County, Northeast Lauderdale, and Choctaw Central. In Pool III are West Lauderdale, Petal, and Quitman.
Teams will play the two teams in their pool and two games against teams outside their pool. The 10-run rule will be used.
At 9 a.m., Southeast plays Northeast, Meridian plays Lawrence County, and Wayne County takes on Choctaw Central.
At 10:15, Southeast meets Petal, Meridian squares off with West Lauderdale, and Wayne County meets Quitman.
At 11:30, Northeast plays Petal, Lawrence County gets a shot at West Lauderdale, and Choctaw Central squares off with Quitman.
At 1:15 p.m., Northeast battles Lawrence County, Meridian plays Southeast, and West Lauderdale plays Petal.
At 2:30, Choctaw Central faces Lawrence County, Meridian plays Wayne County, and West Lauderdale gets Quitman.
The final set of games is slated for 3:45 with Northeast playing Choctaw Central, Southeast taking on Wayne County, and Petal facing Quitman.