MSU softball, Auburn split SEC doubleheader
– STARKVILLE – Mississippi State made up no ground toward qualifying for the SEC tournament with a split of a league doubleheader with eighth-place Auburn. MSU won the first game, 2-1 in 10 innings, but lost Game 2, 8-3.
Auburn (8-14 SEC, 28-21) is 21/2 games ahead of Ole Miss (7-18, 20-25) and three games ahead of Mississippi State (6-16, 24-23) with two conference weekends left.
MSU is at seventh-place Kentucky (8-13, 25-18) on Friday and Saturday, then hosts Ole Miss for a three-game series the next weekend. Auburn has No. 6 Alabama and No. 19 LSU remaining in for three-game series, while Kentucky also has games left at last-place South Carolina.
In the first game, Jessie Spain (single) scored on a throwing error to give MSU the victory. The Lady Bulldogs had tied the game with two outs in their last at-bat when Ali Bainbridge reached on a fielding error and Sammie Jo Bailey doubled her home. Courtney Nesbit had two hits, while Lindsey Dunlap (15-13) struck out six.
In the second game, Auburn extended a 4-3 lead with a three-run fifth. Chelsea Bramlett had three of MSU’s five hits.
– In Oxford, the Rebels completed the home portion of their softball schedule with 3-2 and 8-1 wins over Central Arkansas (22-26) on Wednesday.
In the opener, Ole Miss came back from a 2-0 deficit and got the go-ahead run in the fifth (Aly Presswood’s RBI double). Corrine Doornberg and Cali Overbeck each had two hits. In the nightcap, Ole Miss scored three runs in the second and broke the game with five runs in its last two at-bats. Lis Conchos was 3-for-4 with four RBI and Courtnie Ghinaudo added three hits.
Ole Miss plays at Jacksonville State today and has a bye in SEC play for the weekend.
SEC tennis tourneys open at two locations
– Southeastern Conference teams begin play for a league tournament title today at two locations.
The men’s tournament is at Auburn; Mississippi State (6-14) plays the host school (12-9, ranked No. 19) in the final first-round game at 3 p.m.
The top four seeds have first-round byes, and are ranked among the nation’s Top 10: No. 2 Ole Miss (21-2), No. 4 Georgia (21-2), No. 6 Tennessee (19-5) and No. 10 Florida (16-7). Ole Miss plays the South Carolina/LSU winner at 11 a.m. Friday.
No. 12 Kentucky (16-9), No. 13 Alabama (19-6) and Auburn are also in national’s poll Top 20.
The women’s tournament is at Arkansas; Mississippi State (10-9) plays No. 19 Vanderbilt (10-7) at 10:30 a.m. today and No. 26 Ole Miss (12-8) plays No. 23 LSU (13-9) at 12:30 p.m.
The top four seeds – No. 3 Georgia (20-2); No. 10 Tennessee (15-5); No. 14 Arkansas (13-6) and No. 15 Florida (13-8) – are also ranked in the Top 20 nationally.
The single-elimination tournaments runs through Sunday’s championship matches.
Cliff Dew stepping down as North Pontobtoc coach
– Cliff Dew has resigned as the head football coach at North Pontotoc, according to sources at the high school.
Dew, a former Ole Miss football player, told the football team on Wednesday that he wouldn’t be returning. Calls by the Journal to Dew’s cell phone on Wednesday were not returned.
In his two seasons at North Pontotoc, the Vikings went 10-11 and made the playoffs this past season after going 3-7 the year before.
The Vikings were an 1-9 team in the season before Dew took over.
MLB teams values decline
– NEW YORK – One-third of Major League Baseball teams declined in value over the past year while the New York Yankees’ worth increased 15 percent to $1.5 billion, according to the annual estimates by Forbes magazine.
The Washington Nationals took the biggest hit during the recession, down 12 percent to $406 million. The Atlanta Braves dropped 10 percent and the Detroit Tigers and Seattle Mariners each were off 9 percent, the magazine said Wednesday.
NEMS Daily Journal