And then there was one.
With Booneville having already won the 3A state softball title last week, all Crossroads area sports eyes turned toward the four remaining high school teams remaining in the MHSAA playoffs.
Beginning last Thursday, Alcorn County teams Corinth, Kossuth and Biggersville – along with Booneville – initiated their respective third round, best-of-three series with winners advancing to the north half championship series which starts later this week.
Join me as we take a look at “What’s Going On Around Here” this week, last week … and beyond.
Booneville, alone, survives third round
The Booneville Blue Devils are attempting to follow in their softball cohorts’ steps and win a state championship of their own, and they took another step against Kossuth last Friday.
The Aggies made it interesting in game one, slicing a five-run BHS seventh-inning lead to two before falling 7-5 at Harold T. White Field on Thursday.
Game two was played Friday in the friendlier confines of Aggie Field with the contest turning into yet another close affair. The Blue Devils struck first in the third on a 3-run home run by Jackson McCoy before Kossuth answered with a 3-run blast of their own from Jaxin Settlemires.
With the score till knotted at three heading into the sixth, Booneville added a a pair of insurance runs while holding the host team off the scoreboard for a 5-3 win to move on to the north half championship series.
The Aggies end the 2021 season with a 19-12 record and a third place finish in Region 1-3A.
Coach Kevin Williams club, now 22-10, will face 24-10 Amory for the right to move on to the MHSAA 3A State Championship series next week at Trustmark Park in Pearl.
Something Booneville fans will find interesting – their team was swept by the Panthers 10-8 and 4-3 during the regular season, yet finished fourth in Division 1-3A with a 5-5 league record. Booneville finished with a 7-3 slate in division play.
In addition, Amory lost game one of their best-of-three third round series to division champion Nettleton (12-1) last Thursday before rebounding to take games two and three 12-6 and 7-4 … the deciding third game coming on the Tigers home field.
It should come as no surprise to anyone, though, that it will be either Booneville or Amory representing north Mississippi next week in the 3A championship series. After all, this particular division was stacked about as close as humanly possible from one through four. And Corinth fans can attest to just how good the 3A Panthers and Blue Devils are, having lost to both squads to close the regular season.
The season came to an end for Corinth Saturday in Collinsville as they lost game three 10-2 to West Lauderdale … the very team that defeated them for the 2017 4A state title.
Game one also went to the Knights, 11-1, before CHS responded mightily Friday at home with a 7-4 win in game two.
A seven-run sixth inning in game three proved to be Corinth’s undoing in an otherwise successful season on the diamond. Coach Rob Scarbrough’s club completed a 24-7 campaign with their latest Region 1-4A title with some impressive wins along the way over the likes of Tupelo and Mooreville.
Biggersville seemed to have secured a spot in the 1A North Half finals last Saturday in Tupelo, taking a 4-3 lead into the bottom of the seventh in game three of their series with TCPS.
However, the Eagles walked it off in the bottom half of the inning to win 5-4, ending the Lions fine season at 22-7. Coach Daniel Rowsey led his team to a share of the Region 1-1A title with Pine Grove, who by chance will be facing TCPS for the north half championship beginning Thursday.
One more hurrah for the Lady Blue Devils
It only seems right to congratulate the Booneville softball team one more time for capturing their first state title on the diamond with a 2-0 sweep of Raleigh last Thursday in Starkville.
Seventh-year head coach Jessica Taylor said, “We felt from the time the season began that we had a team very capable of winning state.”
I’m not so sure, though, that Taylor – along with her assistants and players – saw 30 wins, a supposed new school record, in the cards … or even a sweep of the best-of-three championship series. Come on now, let’s be honest: most teams don’t win a title in their first attempt, much less sweep the series.
But the Lady Blue Devils did.
Who will be Corinth’s next head coach?
All of Warrior Nation is anticipating the naming of the newest man to lead their beloved CHS in the long, storied history of the football program. But who will it be?
That answer may come in the next day or two … or even before. Just know that the Daily Corinthian sports department will have the lowdown as soon as the announcement is made.
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Until next time …