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Softball playoffs begin

By CURTIS ROCKWELL

Item Sports Editor

Pearl River County will be well represented when the Class 4A prep slow pitch softball playoffs get underway tonight.

Both Poplarville and Picayune are still in the hunt for state titles, as the Lady Hornets won the Region 7-4A title and the Lady Tide finished second despite the teams splitting a pair of games this week.

Both teams finished 5-1 in league play, but by virtue of a run differential tie-breaker Poplarville will host Northeast Lauderdale tonight while Picayune travels to Quitman.

Both best of three series will begin at 5 p.m., with all three games taking place if necessary. The pair of series involving local games should be two of the top match-ups in the state, as all four teams have been ranked in the statewide Top 10 most of the year. Quitman and Northeast Lauderdale split their division games this year also.

Poplarville finished the regular season 14-4 overall. The Lady Hornets, ranked seventh in the state, fell to Picayune in exciting fashion 4-3 last week in their last game. Janessa Dedeaux and Erin Ladner lead the Lady Hornets at the plate.

“We know they will be a fundamentally sound team,” Poplarville head coach Jonathan Ray said.

Picayune is on a four game win streak headed into the playoffs and finished the regular season at 16–3. The Lady Tide has also won 13 of its last 14 games, with only an 8-1 loss to Poplarville the lone blemish. Picayune warmed up for the postseason by beating Columbia 15-4 Thursday. Taylor Seals hit a grand slam in the win, while Sarah Dodd had a three run homer as well. Brandi Rabion had four hits and drove in three runs for the Lady Tide, while Hillary Dickens had four hits and two RBI’s and Katie Kent and Dodd had three hits apiece in the win.

The winner of the Poplarville series meets the winner of the East Central-Lawrence County series on Saturday. The winner of the Picayune series meets the winner of the D’Iberville-Brookhaven series.