Lady Hornets in all-star games

Published 11:03 pm Saturday, June 28, 2008

Poplarville High was well represented in the state prep softball all-star games this past weekend.

Lady Hornets head coach Jonathan Ray was on the staff of the South team in the large school (Class 4A/5A) fast-pitch game and one of his standouts Larke Nightengale started for that team as well.

Also, Poplarville’s Taylor Meyers was the starting pitcher for the South squad in the slow pitch large schools contests as well.

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Both all-star events took place Friday and Saturday at Newton County High School in Decatur.

The North swept the South in two straight games in both affairs.

“It’s a good way for those girls to end their careers, by being selected for the all-star games,” Ray said. “It’s an honor to be picked and to be recognized as the best the state has to offer in those sports. They represented Poplarville very well, just like they had done over their careers for us.”

It was the second time in the past five seasons that Ray was involved in the all-star game, having coached the slow pitch team in 2004.

Nightengale had a hit for the South team and started both games in centerfield. She will continue her softball career at William Carey next season.

Meyers took the mound for the South in both games as well in the slow pitch affair. She is going to Southwest Mississippi Community College to play soccer and perhaps softball as well.

Ray said that 11 of the 12 girls selected for the South team in the fast pitch game were going on to play on the next level in some capacity.

Local softball fans may get to see some of the players up close, as at least three have signed to play at Pearl River Community College with D’Iberville’s Bethany Russell, Bay High’s Katie Barnett and Hancock’s Mykeal Mayes all headed to head coach Leigh White’s team at The River.

The appearance in the state all-star games wrapped up a postseason doubleheader of sorts for both Nightengale and Mayes, as they each played in the inaugural Gulf Coast Classic All-Star event last week in Biloxi.