By John Wilbert/NEMS Daily Journal
New Albany High softball coach Michael Kelly thinks the two teams to qualify for the postseason out of Division 1-4A will go a long way in this year’s MHSAA Class 4A playoffs.
If the playoffs started on Friday, North Pontotoc (7-0 in the division) and Tishomingo County (6-1) would be the two to represent Division 1-4A in the postseason. Pontotoc (4-2) would just miss out on making the playoffs if the season ended Thursday.
Kelly saw Tishomingo County firsthand on Tuesday. His Bulldogs lost 16-1 at home to the Lady Braves.
“They do a lot of things right,” Kelly said after Tuesday’s game. “You gotta respect a team that plays hard. …
“They’re definitely one of the better teams in the division. It’s going to be a tight race to see which two teams out of our division get to earn those two spots, and then I feel like the two teams out of our division that get there are going to go a long way in the playoffs.”
So far this season, Tishomingo County certainly seems like a contender in Class 4A. Prior to Friday’s game against Tupelo, the Lady Braves were 19-5 on the year.
With six seniors on the team – Ragan Berry, Shelby Bonds, Bailey Bullock, Kayla Sanderson, Tabi Talley, Erin Williams – Tishomingo County has the leadership to have a successful season, said Lady Braves coach Malcolm Brown.
“I got six good seniors with leadership, and I expect a lot out of them,” said Brown, who’s in his fourth season at the helm and, having being a middle school coach, has had a working relationship with those senior players since they were in the seventh grade. …
“This is actually my first year to have seniors. The last couple of years I haven’t had any seniors. So I kind have been building the program.”
Williams, a pitcher and first baseman, hits third in the lineup and was hitting .522 with 21 RBIs prior to Friday’s game. She has a team-high 36 hits, including a team-best 15 doubles, and leads the team in runs scored with 27.
“She’s got quick hands and knows the strike zone,” Brown said. “She does a good job for us.”
Williams has pitched 96 of 148 innings for Tishomingo County this season, going 11-4 with three saves and a 2.70 earned run average. She has struck out 98, while walking 20.
Junior Dannah Glover has accounted for 36 innings pitched. She was 5-1 with a 1.75 ERA entering Friday’s game against Tupelo.
But there are more than just those six seniors and Glover contributing to the cause for Tishomingo County.
“We’ve got 25 players and all of them get some playing time,” Brown said. “I don’t have a problem asking any of them to jump up there and take a good cut at the plate and play defense for me.”
Contact John Wilbert at 678-1572