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Softball squad optimistic about adding another title

By By Ryan Satcher / staff writer
July 16, 2003
The North Meridian Optimist Under-12 slow-pitch softball team has enjoyed a very successful year, but will look to add one more tournament championship this weekend.
The team will travel to Aiken, S.C. to compete in the USSSA World Series this weekend.
NMO qualified for the World Series after winning the USSSA State Tournament held in Meridian a couple of weekends ago. They beat out nine teams and went 4-0 in the double elimination tournament to earn a berth in the national tournament.
NMO started the tournament with a 16-6 win over the Miss-Lou Gators and then took out the Philadelphia Phillies 11-6. After a close 7-6 win over the Bruisers, the team took state with a 6-0 win over the Collinsville Royals in the championship game.
The USSSA State Tournament was not the only success the NMO squad has enjoyed this season. The team also won state in the NSA and ASA.
NMO won the 12-team double elimination NSA State Tournament in Brandon on June 14.
They then beat out about six teams in the ASA State Tournament in Brookhaven last weekend to complete the sweep.
According to coach Ricky Odom, the sweep has only been accomplished by one other NMO team. In 1994, NMO swept all three state tournaments, but no other team had been able to accomplish the feat until this season.
The team also won the gold medal in the State Games of Mississippi.
The team has played in a total of eight tournaments this year and have won seven of them. Rain caused problems at the only tournament they didn't win and NMO finished the tournament in third place.
NMO is also ranked very high in the USSSA power poll. They are ranked third in the power poll with a 20-3 USSSA record.
This will not be the first experience for the team in national competition. They played in the ASA Nationals two years ago and finished tied for seventh.
According to Odom, the players are ready to get to the competition.
The World Series will get underway with pool play on Thursday. The pool play will the teams final seedings before the tournament.
The double-elimination tournament gets underway on Friday.