By John Wilbert/NEMS Daily Journal
Will Kossuth be the first team to defeat Nettleton this season?
We’ll find out tonight when the Lady Aggies host the undefeated Lady Tigers (24-0) in a MHSAA Class 3A state semifinals playoff series beginning at 5.
The Aggies have an impressive mark of their own when playing at home in 2011: In the spring, they lost to Nettleton in a first-round fast-pitch playoff series; and during the slow-pitch regular season, Tishomingo County – a Class 4A state semifinalist that plays at Corinth tonight – was the only team to beat them in Kossuth.
“We’re back home and we’ll take our chances,” said coach Steve Lyles.
Lyles’ club is coming off an amazing 30-run, 48-hit quarterfinals series performance against Mooreville this weekend. During the regular season, the Lady Troopers finished second to the Lady Tigers in Division 2-3A.
“Nobody may give us a chance,” Lyles said about playing Nettleton, a school that won the last three fast-pitch state titles and appeared in the past two slow-pitch state finals, winning a championship in 2009. “But if we stay hot, if we hit like we did Saturday, we’ll have a chance.”
Prior to arriving in Mooreville on Saturday, Lyles took his squad to Elvis Presley’s birthplace in Tupelo. He said the pit stop helped his players to clear their minds and relax before playing the Lady Troopers.
“A couple of them may be going back there today. They said they were going to the mall in Tupelo and may stop by there,” Lyles said on the phone Monday afternoon. “They don’t have school today and we’re not practicing until 6.”
The Class 1A semifinals series between Myrtle and Smithville will be played on Thursday due to the death of a Myrtle student.
The Lady Hawks were originally scheduled to play at Smithville tonight.
David Moody Jr. was killed in a motor vehicle accident Monday morning. Moody, a sophomore, played baseball in the spring for Lady Hawks slow-pitch softball coach Robert Gordon.
Visitation for Moody will be from 5 to 9 tonight. The funeral is scheduled for Wednesday morning at 11.
The all-Monroe County Class 2A semifinals series between Hatley and Hamilton will begin at 5 p.m. today in Hamilton.