The second round of the MHSAA baseball playoffs got underway Friday night with four area teams on the diamond.
In Class 1A, Lake hosted Gulfport-St. John. The Hornets got off to a slow start, but a 5th inning solo homerun by Cody Taylor put Lake on the board. That would be the only run they would need as MCC signee Jason Judge struck out 13 and allowed only one hit. Game two of the series is set for Saturday at 6:00 in Gulfport.
Clarkdale was also at home as the Bulldogs entertained Richton. Two runs in the first inning put the Rebels on top for good. Clarkdale was able to put up one run in the bottom of the frame on a Ryan Burns RBI single to left that scored Mac Hamburg from second. Richton won game one 8-1. The Bulldogs will hit the road on Saturday in a must-win game two.
Division 4-4A rivals Neshoba Central and West Lauderdale are on a crash course to meet for a North State championship. The Rockets hit a speedbump in Lafayette County. The Commodores used errors, hit batsmen and walks to beat pitcher David Goforth and Neshoba Central 8-1. Game two will be at Neshoba Central on Saturday.
West Lauderdale took the lead in their series against Pearl with a 4-1 win. The Knights will return to Jerry Boatner Field Saturday at 6:00 p.m. with a chance to clinch a spot in the 4A North State championship game.
The North and South State championship games in the MHSAA fast-pitch softball playoffs will be played Saturday. Four local teams will be in action.
Division 5-2A is considered to be one of the top fast-pitch divisions in any class. Clarkdale and Union have proved that to be true again this year as both made it the state semifinals. The Lady Bulldogs and Lady Yellowjackets split two games during the regular season. They will play two games on Saturday beginning at 4:00 p.m. at Union. If they split again, a third game will be played Monday at Clarkdale.
Newton County hosts Richland beginning at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday. The Lady Cougars advanced to the Class 3A South State title game with a series win over Morton.
Quitman will hit the road to play Desoto Central. Kacie Leubbers' team won their first-ever division title earlier this year. The Lady Panthers defeated Kosciusko in the second round. If necessary, game three will be in Quitman on Monday.