By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
West Union did what many thought wouldn’t be done when it knocked off defending champion Smithville in the MHSAA Class 1A state fastpitch semifinals Monday night.
The Lady Eagles are now in the state championship series for the second time, Game 1 of a best-of-three series against Nanih Waiya scheduled for today at 6 p.m. at Freedom Ridge Park in Ridgeland.
The Lady Eagles (25-6) lost to Bogue Chitto in the finals two seasons ago. Junior Brittany Taylor has been a constant in the circle. Juniors Bailey Bogue and Julianna Garner and senior Hannah McQuarry are each hitting more than .400 with 25-plus RBIs.
“Everybody at some point has come through for the team. It’s kind of a collective effort,” West Union coach Lisa Bogue said. “We’re going to go and do what we do.”
There are four teams trying to bring gold back to North Mississippi, including defending state champion Houston, which has a rematch with Newton County at 3 p.m. in Class 4A. In 2A, East Webster faces Enterprise-Clarke at noon.
Also at 6 p.m., Nettleton continues an impressive run with the first pitch of its Class 3A series against defending champion St. Patrick. It will be the Lady Tigers’ sixth straight championship series appearance.
Seniors Molly Bramlett, Chelsea Tucker and Anna Kent have played an entire career without knowing what it’s like to not go to the finals. Nettleton won three straight before last season.
Many thought Mooreville would retake the North crown this season, but Nettleton (24-7) won that North final series in three games at Mooreville Tuesday.
“It’s just as sweet as the first time,” Nettleton coach Dana Rhea said. “I think you learn a little more each time you go down there. It’s still pretty sweet.”
Nettleton starting pitcher, junior MariAnna Young, is pitching on a torn ACL she suffered in early April. Second and if-necessary third games are scheduled for Saturday.