| SP Tiger team begins season with 4-0 record
| Allie Haire (front, right) of Batesville sits in the courtside seat she was assigned during the Ole Miss Lady Rebels game with Arkansas, February 26. She won the day with the Lady Rebels. Here she opens the bag of goodies she received from the team which included three Ole Miss shirts and shorts. She started the day by attending the pregame shoot around and eating brunch with the team. She watched the team beat Arkansas 85-78 and got a big hug from each player after their victory.
| Lady Tigers just off busy weekend
| By Myra Bean
The South Panola fast pitch softball team (3-3 overall, 0-0 district) played five games in three days but they are ready for the first district game against Southaven today, according to assistant coach John Davis.
"We need a day of practice, but we are ready to go again," he said Monday morning.
The Southaven Lady Chargers are the defending 5A state champions. Southaven did lose to Grenada 4-3 last Tuesday. Efforts to contact coach Shane Staten were unsuccessful for the updated record.
South Panola (3-3 overall, 0-0 district) fell at the hands of Grenada 5-2 on Thursday night.
After both teams scored in the third inning, the score was tied at two. The Lady Tigers were held scoreless the rest of the game, but Grenada went on to score three runs in the bottom of the fifth to hold on for the win.
Whitney Kiihnl took the loss for that game.
Friday and Saturday South Panola participated in the Cellular South High School Fast Pitch Jamboree held in Tupelo.
South Panola was 2-2 in tournament play.
Friday night South Panola fell to Clarkdale of Meridian, 2-1. Lauren Suratt took the loss for that game.
Saturday afternoon the Lady Tigers took on three opponents. In the first game, the Lady Tigers shut out Pontotoc 8-0.
"Whitney Kiihnl pitched a perfect game," said head coach John Sherman.
Kiihnl pitched a no hitter and struck out 15 batters. She also allowed no walks and no errors to put any runner on base, according to Sherman.
Kiihnl, along with catcher Casi Brooks, each hit an inside the park homerun and a single. Hillari Plummer hit a single and a double. Leann Parrish hit two singles. A.J. Hudson also hit two singles and Summer Gee had one single.
Probably the most exciting game of the tournament was the extra inning game against Hamilton. Each game was limited to 80 minutes but this game between the two teams was tied at zero at the end of regulation.
It took two extra innings for Hamilton to score and win 1-0. In the extra innings, one runner is put on second base for each team with no outs.
South Panola was the home team and loaded the bases in the eighth inning, but could not get the runner on third home.
Both Kiihnl and Suratt pitched in the game and combined for 15 strikeouts.
The last game of the evening for South Panola was played against Mooreville and the Lady Tigers emerged victorious with a 2-0 score. This game was played immediately after the game against Hamilton.
"We faced probably the best pitcher in the state," Sherman said.
According to Davis, South Panola faced this pitcher four years ago and she struck out all the batters.
Suratt pitched the complete game and picked up the win.
Brooks and Kiihnl scored the two runs for South Panola. Getting hits were Brooks, Haylei Plummer and Parrish, 1 single each; and Kiihnl, 2 singles.
"I am proud of the girls," Davis said. "They played a hard fought game in the loss to Hamilton and turned right around and faced the best pitcher in the state."
After today’s game with Southaven, the Lady Tigers will travel for seven games. Thursday, they will be in Olive Branch for district games beginning at 6 p.m. Olive Branch (1-5) lost to Horn Lake (4-0) 11-0 last Thursday.
Saturday, the Lady Tigers will be in Senatobia (3-1) for non-district action beginning at 2 p.m. Senatobia defeated Independence 18-4 Thursday. During spring break, the team will be in Hernando, Thursday, March 16 for games at 3 p.m. and the following Saturday, March 18 will play three games in the Northeast Community College tournament.
| Tigers defeat Horn Lake in first district game
| By Myra Bean
The South Panola Tiger baseball team (5-1 overall, 1-0 district) held on by their teeth to get an 8-7 district win over Horn Lake Friday night.
The Tigers scored their runs in the first four innings of the game and held an 8-0 lead. Then Horn Lake decided to wake up.
The Eagles scored seven runs in the last three innings of the game, including a four-run sixth inning.
The Tigers had to play the game against Tupelo Saturday afternoon without the presence of head coach Patrick Robey. Robey was hit in the head by a ball during warmups and went to the emergency room to be checked out. A CATScan revealed no damage, according to Robey, but he did not make it back to the ball park until after the game had ended.
Tupelo defeated South Panola 9-4.
Against Horn Lake Friday night, in the first inning Barrett Johnson singled and Josh Boren doubled to get on base. Ethan Bright doubled to drive home Johnson and Boren. David Renfroe doubled to drive home Bright.
In the second inning, Jonathon Flint singled and Johnson doubled. Both were able to get home on Horn Lake pass balls and stolen bases for the scores.
In the fourth inning, Johnson singled, Jameson Rodgers walked and Boren got on base on a fielding error. Bright walked and forced Johnson home. Rodgers and Boren got home on pass balls. That ended the scoring for the Tigers.
The Tigers had some trouble with Tupelo in all areas. Tupelo hit two homeruns and even more than that were able to just get hits by finding openings in the field.
The Tigers did have a couple of dropped fly balls that allowed the runners to get to base.
South Panola scored on a Flint RBI double in the second inning to score Renfroe who had doubled to get on base.
The Tigers had two outs at this time due to a Tupelo doubleplay. Nevertheless, the Tigers loaded the bases but were not able to get any more runs home.
In the third inning, Johnson doubled and Boren singled to left field on a line drive to drive Johnson home. The Tigers again loaded the bases but were unable to score.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Lance Hendrix got on base due to an overthrown ball to first and got to second base on the same pass ball.
Rodgers came through and hit a two-run homer on a 3-1 pitch to bring the Tigers to within two runs, 6-4.
Johnson took the loss for the Tigers.
The Jr. Varsity Tigers came back in the fifth inning to take a 6-5 win from Tupelo.
The Tigers led 3-1 going into the bottom of the third inning. Marty Stokes scored in the third inning on a Tyler Benson RBI ground out to shortstop.
Tupelo came back and scored four runs in the top of the fourth inning for a 5-4 lead.
In the bottom of the fifth, Stokes got on base on a pass ball to first and was able to get to second base on that same error. Benson singled. Whit Whitten singled to drive home Stokes to tie the game at five. Then Benson stole home for the winning run.
The Tigers will be in Southaven for a district matchup at 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
Friday night starts a six-game weekend home stand for the Tigers. Friday, Olive Branch will be in Batesville for district games at 5 and 7 p.m.
Saturday, the Tigers will host two sets of teams. At 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., Cleveland Eastside will play the Tigers. Then at 5 and 7 p.m., Grenada Chargers will be in town.
| SP tennis team defeats Horn Lake
| The South Panola tennis team won its season opening match against Horn Lake 4-1 last Thursday. Horn Lake had to forfeit two of its games because it did not bring enough players.
Grant Goforth won his boys singles match 6-1, 6-3. Ashley Robinson won her girls singles match 6-0,
6-2. Daniel Waller and Jonathon Ware lost their boys doubles match 4-6, 3-6.
The tennis team will not play any more matches until after spring break.
The next scheduled match is Thursday, March 23. South Panola will host Southaven at 4 p.m.
| J.P. Hudson Park builds softball fields
| By Myra Bean
There will be something new at J.P. Hudson Park for the 625 ballplayers plus their parents this season.
The 13/14 year-old baseball field, the Lions Field or the "big field" has been torn up and will be made into three softball fields.
"There have never been any true softball fields, all dirt infields, at J.P. Hudson," said Eddie Greenlee, president of the board for J.P. Hudson.
The softball teams have been playing on the baseball fields which have a mound. Softball fields do not have raised pitcher mounds.
"Then we would try to go play other teams who have practiced and played on softball fields and it was a disadvantage," Greenlee said. "Girls (fast pitch) softball has come leaps and bounds in the last few years. There is such a trend here."
The trend in fast pitch softball is growing in the local area.
"Girls are getting into it at such a young age," Greenlee said. "They are taking pitching lessons and learning how to hit right. They are fielding so much better. There is just a lot of training out there for them that was not there years ago."
It was just time for the girls to get a break and have beautiful softball fields built for them, Greenlee said.
According to Greenlee, the park has also even been approached for one of the state tournaments.
"That is just community effort," he added. "People are lending hands and doing what they can to help build these fields."
Another good thing about the new fields going in is the schedule. The three fields bring the total to seven fields at the park and players and parents should be home a lot earlier than 10 or 11 o’clock at night.
"It will ease everybody’s pain so to speak," Greenlee said. "When we get out there, we will have games going on everywhere. There will be a lot of excitement. Each field will be fenced off. They will have their own lighting, whatever they need."
The fields will be regulation size for the age groups 8, 10, 12, 14 and 16 and under, though some will overlap.
"The way that we placed the field, all the homeplates are back-to-back with each other," Greenlee said. "Everybody will be hanging out together, and it will be a lot of fun for everybody. It’s going to look so good. When you come over that overhead bridge and look down on there, it ought to take your breath away."
One field will still be the Lions Field. The other two will be left open for sponsorship, Greenlee said.
"There have been a lot of people helping out," he added.
The four teams which make up the 13 and 14-year-old baseball group will play at American Legion Field.
How much is this costing? Greenlee would not divulge the information but did say it was worth the investment.
Byron Houston of Houston Engineering of Batesville is the architect and the contractor for the work. His firm got started in early February breaking up the field but was stopped numerous times when inclement weather set in. The fields are expected to be ready about the first or second week of April.
That will be just in time as the season will begin Monday, April 17. In the past, there have been opening day league tournaments to start the season.
Greenlee said people did not want to be at the ballpark the weekend of Easter so the games will start that Monday. The teams will play every night except Wednesdays.
Something is planned for the following weekend but Greenlee said plans have not been finalized.
| North Delta falls to Indianola
| By Myra Bean
The North Delta Green Wave baseball team (1-3 overall, 1-1 district) has had a little trouble getting a win after the season-opening win over Kirk last Tuesday.
The Green Waves lost both games in the Magnolia Heights tournament last week. Wednesday, they lost to Magnolia Heights 10-0 and Friday to Rossville 6-5.
Thursday in regular season play, the Green Waves fell to district foe Indianola Academy 9-3.
Chris Pike took the loss for the Green Wave.
The Green Waves enjoyed a 3-2 lead against Indianola for one and a half innings, bottom of the third to the top of the fifth.
In the bottom of the third inning, Jim Tom Copeland and Dustin Maples got in scoring positions and a triple by Pittman Harrison drove them home. Then on a pass ball, Harrison scored the third run.
The lead was short lived as Indianola scored two runs in the top of the fifth, one in the sixth and four in the seventh to put the game out of reach of the sluggish Green Wave bats.
Also hitting for the Green Waves were Bryce Raddatz and Jim Tom Copeland with one single each.
Against Rossville, the Green Waves led 4-2 at the bottom of the second inning. Then Rossville had a four-run third inning that the Green Waves could not overcome. The Green Waves did get one run in the seventh but that was not enough.
In the first inning, Pike doubled and drove home Maples who had also doubled. Then Harris hit an RBI double to drive home Pike.
In the second inning, J.T. Dalrymple’s hit scored both Matthew Locke and Geri Lamm who had both walked.
In the seventh, Maples singled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Dalrymple. Dalrymple had three RBIs for the evening, but also took the pitching loss for the Green Waves.
Today, the Green Waves will be in Marshall for their third district game at 4 and 6 p.m. Thursday, the Green Waves will host Carroll Academy in district action at 4 and 6 p.m. This will be the final game until after spring break next week.
| John Johnson loses for first time in California
| Commentary by Kent Appel @Ringside
"King" Sam Soliman of Melbourne, Australia stepped in on Friday, March 3, 2006, to headline a seven bout card at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, Calif. as a replacement for former welterweight champion Vernon Forrest who was injured during training and who had to cancel fighting Raul Munoz of Leon, Mexico.
The program was promoted by Goossen Tutor Promotions and part of it was broadcast live on Fox Sports Network’s Best Damn Fight Night Period.
In a six round light heavyweight fight, John Johnson of Batesville fought Juan Carlos Sanchez of Los Mochis, Mexico. In somewhat of an upset, Sanchez was the winner by a unanimous decision by scores of 59 to 55, 59 to 55, and 58 to 56. His record is now 24-16-3, 16 by KO while John Johnson dips to 10-1, 9 by KO.
Weights were John Johnson 171 pounds and Sanchez 168 1/2 pounds. This fight reminded me of Rocky Balboa of the Rocky movies but in this one there were two Rockys.
Sanchez and Johnson are both fairly short for light heavyweights and they are both southpaws with a lot of heart.
They battled it out from the beginning of the fight without much let up and I didn’t see a clear winner.
| Ciaramitaro considers MSU
| By Gene Swindoll
Northeast Mississippi Community College has at least eight players who have a chance to be D-I prospects next season.
Brandon Ciaramitaro (OT, 6-3, 285) – A MPSA 1st Team All-State selection from North Delta School in Batesville, Mississippi. Brandon told me he likes Memphis, UAB, Southern Miss, Troy and Mississippi State.
He signed with Delta State out of high school. He anticipates graduating in December.