Better weather helps tourneys get on field

TUPELO – Dizzy Dean Baseball’s national director, Brent Fray, enjoyed his Saturday at Ballard Park, watching play in the organization’s 9-year-old World Series.
“The weather’s been nice today,” said Fray, a Starkville resident.
Temperatures in the low 80s greeted visiting fans, parents and players from around the Southeast. Quite a change from the oppressive heat of Thursday’s opening day and Friday’s three inches of rain.
The 36-team tournament, which guarantees each participant at least three games, is a day behind schedule because of Saturday’s rain, which forced a suspension of play.
The championship game, or games, will be played at 10 a.m. Thursday instead of Wednesday as scheduled.
“I guess you could say we lost about a half day,” Fray said. “We’ve moved up our schedule Sunday to make up some of the games.”
Fray praised the staff of the Tupelo Parks and Recreation Department for its work on the complex’s four competition fields.
“These fields drained really well,” he said. “They are in great shape.”
Tupelo’s team suffered its second consecutive defeat Saturday when it dropped an 8-7 decision to the Hobgood (Ga.) Storm. The Tupelo entry, because of the three-game rule, remains eligible in the loser’s bracket.
In other games featuring Northeast Mississippi teams, Hernando defeated Oxford 14-6, the Hobgood (Ga.) Heat beat Fulton 10-0 and the Tallahassee (Fla.) Capitals downed Saltillo 23-2.
Softball on schedule
The USSSA Girls Slow-Pitch World East tournaments played into the late evening Saturday with the hopes of crowning champions in all six age divisions.
Sims Meredith, the softball director for Tupelo Parks and Rec, said one age group, the 10-under, was the only one in danger of not finishing. However, tournament officials planned to make a venue move to get those needed games in Saturday.
“We’re moving right along, trying to finish today,” said Meredith, who was forced to suspend play at the Eastwood and Veteran fields Friday because of rain. “It took a lot of work to get these field ready, but our crews were out here at 5:45 this morning. They had everything ready to go at 8.
“Everybody I’ve talked with has been impressed with the tournament,” Meredith said. “They’re happy.”
In the girls 10-under tournament, the Monroe Magic defeated the Mississippi Lady Raiders but lost to Ville Platte, La. Tupelo’s 10-under entry, the Express, lost its first game Saturday while Tupelo’s 12-under team, also the Express, dropped two games.
Contact Gene Phelps at 678-1522 or gene.phelps@djournal.com

Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal