By Curtis Rockwell, Sports Editor
The Picayune Item
Poplarville’s Branda Northrop has been selected to compete in this weekend’s 12th Annual MAC All-Star Girls Fast Pitch Softball Games.
The contests will take place Saturday, June at Community Bank Park on the Jones Junior College campus at in Ellisville, MS. Tickets for the games are $5.00 per person for general admission seating.
Northrop, a standout senior centerfielder for the Lady Hornets, will play for the South team in the larger schools games which consists of 4A/5A/6A teams.
The Class 1A/2A/3A North squad will be coached by Lisa Bogue of West Union and her assistant coach Bre Anna Heard. The South 1A/2A/3A team will be guided by Pass Christian head coach Robyn Killebrew and her assistant Rusty Necaise. The North Class 4A/5A/6A team will be led by head coach Mike Armstrong of Northwest Rankin with his assistant coach Lee Alderman. The South 4A/5A/6A team will be coached by head coach Bruce Thornton of George County along with his assistant coach Steven Jordan.
The All-Star softball games feature a North versus South format and two-game series per classification.
The slow pitch and fast pitch all-star games were separated into individual series in 2012. In the 2012 rising seniors game, the North won game one 1-0 while the South shut out the North 11-0 in game two. Since the format was changed in 2006, the South leads the 1A/2A/3A series with a 3-1-3 record, while the North leads the 4A/5A/6A series with a mark of 3-2-2.
In 2012, the teams split the Class 1A/2A/3A series with the North winning game one 15-13 in eight innings (first extra-inning game in fast pitch All-Star history) and the South claiming game two 11-0. In the 2012 Class 4A/5A/6A series, the North edged the South in game one by a 6-3 margin while the South claimed game two by a 7-4 score for a series tie.
Northrop’s teammate Rachel Hickman was expected to play in Saturday’s games as well but she chose to enroll at USM early. Hickman was named the Gatorade Player of the Year in the state on Thursday.