Special to the Chickasaw Journal
HOUSTON - The 14-team tournament planned for last weekend in Houston almost got cancelled by Mother Nature, but area girls determined to play if they had to do it in the mud - and they did.
The Lady Toppers scheduled the tourney to take place over Friday night and all day Saturday, but had to make some adjustments due to weather, including taking themselves out of action.
"We cut back to three game on Friday night due to the threat of severe weather," said Coach Keith Jernigan. "Ten teams played two games each on Saturday. The rain wiped us off of the city fields and we had to adjust to play everything on our field."
Houston wasn't the only team that elected not to hit the field. The Houlka Lady Wildcats cancelled along with Caledonia, Ackerman and New Hope, but the nine remaining teams played through the muck and kept right on going.
"We had to remove and put the tarp back on the field four times," Jernigan said. "Thanks to our players and a couple of parents, we were able to get things started only about thirty minutes later than planned. Things went great after that."
Saturday's action ran from 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. with area teams participating including Calhoun City, Vardaman, East Webster and South Pontotoc.
"Our players and parents really worked hard to make this happen," Jernigan said. "We had good crowds all day and the action was top notch."
The tourney is used as a fund raiser for the Lady Toppers softball program.
Working toward the top spot
The Lady Toppers are back in action this week and were scheduled to play Nettleton on Monday and Aberdeen on Tuesday for Senior night. Jernigan said his two seniors have really led the way this season.
"Dominique Moore and Paige Smith have played key roles in our success," Jernigan said. "Dominique has played first base, short stop and third. She is a very good defensive player who we count on to keep our infield solid. She has come through with clutch hits in several games. Paige mainly plays outfield and has played a third a couple of times. She has done a great job in the outfield and her hitting is the best part of her game. She has led the team in batting average for several seasons."
Both seniors are six-year team members.
The Lady Toppers are currently in second place in division but are ready to settle.
"We're battling to move into first place," Jernigan said.