High School Sports

Busy week ahead for South Mississippi's top softball talent

CHRIS TODD/SPECIAL TO THE SUN HERALD/FILE 
 West Harrison's Rebecca Cuevas hits against Neshoba Central on May 12. Cuevas will take part in the Mississippi Association of Coaches all-star softball games this weekend at Jones County Junior College.
CHRIS TODD/SPECIAL TO THE SUN HERALD/FILE West Harrison's Rebecca Cuevas hits against Neshoba Central on May 12. Cuevas will take part in the Mississippi Association of Coaches all-star softball games this weekend at Jones County Junior College.

Summer break will have to wait another week.

South Mississippi's best softball talents aren't done playing just yet, with a slew of all-star competitions set for the next four days.

The annual Gulf Coast Fast-Pitch All-Star Games are set for Wednesday and Thursday at Biloxi High, while the Mississippi Association of Coaches will hold its North-South junior showcase Saturday.

"Definitely for the Coast area it's going to be a busy week," said West Harrison coach Brittany Rogers, who is coaching the 4A/5A/6A/ South all-stars alongside her husband, Tracy. "I think it's a good experience for all these kids to play with other high schools."

The MAC's game is broken up into two 1A/2A/3A and 4A/5A/6A games, beginning at 10 a.m.

Part of what sets the Coast's showcase apart is the inclusion of seniors since the MAC game is juniors only.

The Coast's game uses an East-West format with the futures game Wednesday and the seniors on Thursday. Both Coast doubleheaders start at 6 p.m.

"The girls look forward to playing with their travel ball teammates and people they've been competing against for four or five years," said Biloxi coach Bruce Thornton, who organizes the annual event. "For the seniors, it's one more opportunity to represent their high schools."

Coast all-stars

Nearly 60 athletes will compete in the Coast's games.

The West seniors roster includes Gulfport's Taylor Chambliss, Hancock's Lena Turner, Harrison Central's Simone McKinney and Madison Burge, Long Beach's Krystal Goodman and Payton Tillman, Picayune's Rylee Dawsey, Poplarville's Kaley Lambert, Shelbie Wheat and Caylen Beall, St. Patrick's Elizabeth Zorich and Emma Rae Castanedo, and West Harrison's Stephanie Necaise, Kristen Sexton and Lauren Jackson. St. Patrick's Tommy Castanedo and Poplarville's Jonathan Ray will coach the team.

The East seniors roster includes Biloxi's Olivia Holley and Carlie Vice, D'Iberville's Magnolia Keller, East Central's Ramee Taylor, Madie Sparks and Sarah Depperschmidt, George County's Anna Cooley, Moss Point's Jayla Poindexter and Reagan Autmon, Ocean Springs' Alexa Tash and Tori Gum, St. Martin's Katelyn Gruich, Emily Stansbury and Rebecca Anderson, and Stone's Taylor Sherman. George County's Keith Essary and Moss Point's Alan Hill will coach the team.

The West futures will be led by Gulfport's Jayden Bishop, Hancock's Lexi Turner, Harrison Central's Desirea Lindsey and Kristen Cade, Long Beach's Kaitlyn McGoey, Our Lady Academy's Dallas Blaker, Pass Christian's Brooke Roach, Pearl River Central's Taylor Harris, Picayune's Megan Dudenhefer and Elizabeth Taggard, St. Patrick's Morgan McCrea, Raylen Blackwell, Raven Blackwell and Anna D'Aquilla and West Harrison's Megan Sexton and Rebecca Cuevas. OLA's Bruce Blaker and PRC's Tony LaBella will coach the team.

The East futures roster boasts Biloxi's Lydia Harrington and Christine Marsland, East Central's M

MAC All-Stars

Playing for the Rogers will be West Harrison's Rebecca Cuevas and Megan Sexton, Picayune's Megan Dudenhefer, Gulfport's Jessica Lee, George County's Neely McLeod and Megan Morse, and Harrison Central's Amari Ramsey and Desirea Lindsey.

Gulfport's Ryan Hodge is the head coach of the 1A/2A/3A South squad with Thornton serving as an assistant.

Our Lady Academy's Dallas Blaker, McCrea and Resurrection's Icy Walley will play for Hodge and Thornton.

While the girls should have fun, Rogers said she hopes the players take the games seriously.

"We had fun but we also wanted to win when I played in the game," Rogers said. We took it seriously. I hope they do, too. I'm going to go up there and try to push that.

"We want to represent the South and win."

Both Thornton and Rogers said the all-star games also serve as an opportunity to showcase what they can do for possible college recruiters in attendance.

"Maybe if they haven't gotten an opportunity, maybe they'll do something that will give them an opportunity to play in college," Thornton said.

Admission for both all-star games is $5.

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