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Action on the diamond begins

Thanks to Mother Nature, the local prep baseball and softball got off to a bit of a slow start Friday.

Poplarville is hosting the annual County Tournament that kicks off the baseball season, but action was delayed more than an hour due to rainy conditions. Pearl River Central was slated to face Hancock at 5 p.m., and the Blue Devils and Hawks hoped to get their contest in later in the evening.

That game was scheduled to be followed by Picayune and Poplarville. Action today is slated to start at 11 a.m., with Picayune facing Hancock and then Poplarville and PRC meeting about 1:30.

“I think the baseball talent in Pearl River County is great across the board,” Picayune head coach Cayne Stockstill said. All three prep baseball teams in Pearl River  County made the South State playoffs last year.

“Both Pearl River Central and Poplarville have very solid teams,” Stockstill added. “And I think we have the talent to be right back in it again this year as well.”

After today’s action, both Picayune and Pearl River Central will play in the Petal Tournament on Tuesday. The Blue Devils are slated to meet Bay High at 5 p.m., and the Maroon Tide is set to face Petal at 7.

Neither Picayune or Poplarville get much time to prepare for district play. The Maroon Tide is slated to begin league action Thursday at home against defending Class 5A state champion Pascagoula, while the Blue Devils are expected to open league play on the road at Gautier on Friday.

On the fast-pitch softball side, Picayune was expected to play in the season-opening Frostbite Classic at Pass Christian on Friday night, but those games were postponed. The Lady Tide, under the direction of veteran mentor Kristie Mitchell, will try  again tonight, with games slated for 7 and 8:30 p.m., as Picyune faces Long Beach and the host team.

Also, Poplarville is hoping to open the season today playing in the Purvis Tournament. The games were moved back from their originally scheduled times, however, and now the Lady Hornets are set to face Quitman at 4:15 and Purvis at 6:30.

Pearl River Central is playing in the Harrison Central Tournament today, weather permitting of course.