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Tourney hosts state's top teams

By By Marty Stamper / EMG sports assistant
Sept. 26, 2003
Half of the state's Top 10-ranked slow-pitch softball teams, according to The Clarion-Ledger, will be playing in the 15th-annual Rush/Meridian Community College Tournament Saturday at Sammie Davidson Complex.
Leading the pack are No. 1 Moss Point, No. 2 New Hope, and No. 3 Neshoba Central. Other ranked teams competing are No. 9 Tupelo and No. 10 West Lauderdale.
Through Tuesday's games, Moss Point was 14-1, New Hope was 18-1, Neshoba Central was 17-1, Tupelo was 17-5, and West Lauderdale was 16-4.
Moss Point suffered its first loss of the season Tuesday, falling 8-0 at No. 8 Biloxi as sophomore shortstop Jeana Erickson ripped a three-run homer and a grand slam to lead the 15-3 Lady Indians.
New Hope, which entered the season ranked No. 1, knocked off then-unbeaten Neshoba Central 10-4 last Thursday in Lowndes County. An 8-0 blanking of Meridian on Tuesday upped the Lady Trojans' record to 18-1. New Hope was slated to host Louisville last night.
Tupelo, which handed New Hope its only loss in the 2003 season opener, knocked off Columbus 10-0 Tuesday to improve to 17-5.
West Lauderdale run-ruled Southeast Lauderdale 14-4 Tuesday as the Lady Knights improved to 16-4.
Games involving Top 10 matches Saturday have Neshoba Central and West Lauderdale clashing for the third time this fall at 8:45 a.m.; Moss Point and Tupelo meeting at 10:55 a.m.; New Hope squaring off with Moss Point at 1:10 p.m.; Moss Point facing Neshoba Central at 4:30 p.m.; and Neshoba Central taking on Tupelo at 6:40 p.m.
Other area teams competing include Newton County (13-5), Northeast Lauderdale (11-8), Southeast Lauderdale (12-11), Union (11-6), Meridian (5-11), and Enterprise.
Completing the 19-team field are Petal (11-4), George County (9-7), Warren Central (10-6), Division 6-5A champion Natchez (8-2), Columbus, Greene County, Harrison Central, and Poplarville.