Meridian Star

October 14, 2013

Added difficulty: Rockets must face 6A teams to defend 5A title

Sarah Moomaw
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN — The Neshoba Central slow-pitch softball team is the reigning Class 5A champion.

    At 26-1, the quest to defending it seems likely, except this season, Mississippi High School Athletic Association combined Classes 5A and 6A into one tournament bracket.

    "It's a little different twist for us," head coach Trae Embry said. "We're going to take it one round at a time and just see how things go ... when you combine 5a and 6a, it's a lot more schools and a lot more competition."

    In Tuesday's first round, the Rockets will host 6A's Warren Central after not playing any larger class schools all season, but Embry isn't worried.

     "It's just one of those things, it's something we can't control and honestly, we haven't even worried about it this year," Embry said. "I didn't scheduled any 6A teams I don't think. I can't remember our schedule so long."  

    Keeping his cool is due in part to two hot hitters this season. Junior Hailey Lunderman and senior Katlyn Duke are hovering near .700 on the season and .701 and .686 respectively. Duke also has hit 20 home runs to lead the Rockets.

    "They are just so consistent. when say a batting average of .700, you say consistency," Embry said. "They've just done it all year for us. ... we look for them to have a good playoff."