Avenging, revenging and taking shots at titles

If you’re a fan of high school sports, this week is for you. The fast-pitch softball season is in its final two weekends and baseball is in what should be considered its opening round – that first weekend of slaughter shouldn’t even go into the record books.
Here’s what Monroe County should be proud of. We have a chance to have the North champion in the first three MHSAA classes. In Class 2A, the North champ will definitely be ours, as Hatley and Hamilton face off for the distinction.
As easy as that sentence is to read and keep going, stop and look at it. The only two teams left in Class 2A North are in your backyard. It’s more than impressive and it speaks to the quality of athletes and coaches in this area.
That’s not all though, right Smithville? Fresh off of October’s slow-pitch state title, Smithville is looking to add a fast-pitch trophy to the case. Not to jinx the Lady Seminoles, but this weekend’s tilt with Houlka isn’t what we want to see. We want to see a title match in Ridgeland against East Webster.
Lady Wolverines pitcher Jessica Halterman has been a thorn in the side of Smithville and Hamilton the last couple of seasons. This is the final chance to get even against the senior. In the true words of coaches though, let’s take one game at a time.
Lastly, certainly not least, Nettleton is back in the fast-pitch finals. Against who else, but Mooreville. To say the least, these two have some history, not a romantic one either. This time, Lakyn Nelson is in North Pontotoc, a hurdle the Lady Tigers have already jumped.
Even without their nemesis in the other dugout though, this is the only true way to determine the best 3A team in the North.
The Other Diamond
I stick behind my earlier statement that the first round of the baseball playoffs should be completely exonerated from the record, right Coach Kennedy? Getting swept 30-0 or 27-5 or anything in that neighborhood should probably get your team banned from competition for a semester or two.
Round two should be more interesting. A Zane Treadaway-less East Union faces Hamilton for the second straight season. Even without their former ace, Craig Bullock still poses a pitching threat that should be fun to watch against Hamilton arms.
More Mooreville in 3A. Amory faces the traditional power, a term probably over-used but very true. That’s two schools that love their baseball and have plenty of banners to show it.
In 1A, Smithville joins Hamilton as two Monroe schools still paying the power bills for lights on two fields. In baseball, the Seminoles will face West Union. At 3-9 earlier this season, Smithville may not have been supposed to be here. But it’s won nine-of-13 and won them at the right time. Union County has three teams in. Smithville has two or three chances to keep Monroe’s lone 1A hopes alive.

Brandon Speck

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