East Central won its showdown with Stone High on Friday, defeating the Lady ’Cats 3-2.
But Stone still holds the tiebreaking edge for the Division 7-4A title by one run, which means that Stone can gain its first division title by sweeping the remainder of its games.
By virtue of that fact, Stone (14-1) remains the No. 1 team in the Sun Herald South Mississippi softball rankings. East Central (17-2) is No. 2.
D’Iberville (21-2) is No. 3, followed by Long Beach (18-3) and Poplarville (14-5) respectively. And that is where things really get interesting.
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Poplarville invades Long Beach tonight in a key game. Long Beach gets back into the playoff hunt with a victory. Poplarville can keep alive its hope for a Division 8-4A title with a victory.
D’Iberville visits Poplarville on Monday, and that game could be for the division title.
Ocean Springs (11-5, 4-0), ranked No. 6, has positioned itself to win the Division 7-5A title. Ocean Springs visits Pascagoula tonight, then closes out its division campaign at home Tuesday against George County.
Harrison Central (11-12) has ascended to No. 7 in the Sun Herald rankings, because the Lady Red Rebels lead Division 8-5A with a 4-0 record. Harrison Central hosts Petal tonight, then visits Gulfport on Monday to round out its division schedule.
Round 1 of the state playoffs begins April 12.
Individual leaders in the latest Sun Herald South Mississippi statistics are Poplarville’s Janessa Dedeaux (.500), East Central’s Jacklyn Burri (4 home runs), Pascagoula’s Kayla Herbert and Katie Alderman (23 RBIs apiece), Biloxi’s Tisa Smith (17 stolen bases), D’Iberville’s Kimi Wagner (21-2 won-loss record, 247 strikeouts) and East Central’s Linsey Dickerson (0.40 ERA).
SUN HERALD TOP 10
Sun Herald South Mississippi fast-pitch softball rankings (team, record, ranking last week):
1. Stone (14-1), 12. East Central (17-2), 23. D’Iberville (21-2), 34. Long Beach (18-3), 45. Poplarville (14-5), 66. Ocean Springs (11-5), 57. Harrison Central (11-12), 108. Gulfport (15-8), 59. George County (14-11), 910. Pascagoula (13-10), 10On the bubble: Hancock 11-12