Thursday, July 26, 2007
MA seeks another shot at state title
By BARRY BURLESON
The Marshall Academy Lady Patriots start a new softball season next week and expectations are high, to say the least.
Last year the Lady Patriots finished second in the state to Leake Academy.
“Our goal is to get back there and get another shot at a state championship,” said head coach Susan Rodgers. “The girls are very excited about the season – anxious to get started.”
Basically, the entire team returns – the Lady Patriots graduated no seniors, and one starter transferred to another school.
“It’s still a young group of kids,” Rodgers said. “We will have only three seniors this year (Brittney Tomlinson, Mandy Bolden and Allie Kriss, who is returning from a knee injury).”
Full practices began this week. The Lady Patriots open the season next Thursday, Aug. 2, at Leake, the team they lost to in the state championship matchup last year. The doubleheader begins at 2 p.m.
“Leake graduated a few seniors,” Rodgers said, “but they will be loaded; they always are.”
District realignment means the addition of tough foes like Carroll and Indianola. Marshall beat Indianola in an elimination game of the state tournament last year.
MA claimed the district crown last year in a tiebreaker over Lee (Clarksdale), and the Lady Colts are still a district opponent.
“Our district will be a lot better,” Rodgers said.
The first home date is Monday, August 6, versus Marvell. Game-time is 3 p.m.
The Lady Patriots are slated to play in a couple of prestigious tournaments – Starkville Tournament August 18 and Indian Summer Classic September 14-15 at Tunica. Rodgers said both will be well attended by college coaches.
The North AA Tournament begins September 19, the State Tournament September 26, and the Overall Tournament October 3.
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