ELLISVILLE – The state's top upcoming senior high school softball players will be in action here Saturday on the campus of Jones County Junior College.
For the second straight year, the annual Mississippi Association of Coaches (MAC) All-Star Fast Pitch Softball games will be played at JCJC's Community Bank Park.
"It's a great opportunity for us," said JCJC softball head coach Chris Robinson. "It's a chance for us to not only showcase Community Bank Park, but to showcase Jones County Junior College, as well.
"The players stay in our dorms and eat in our cafeteria. It's a tremendous asset to us when it comes to recruiting."
Last year, there were senior All-Star games and junior All-Star games. This year, there will only be junior games (upcoming seniors).
The Lady Bobcats, who just won their second straight MACJC state championship, were able to sign four players from last year's senior games including All-Region 23 second baseman Makenzie Hawkins of Nettleton and pitcher Dana Arender of Raleigh. Two players who played in last year's junior games – infielder Tori Dew of Quitman and pitcher/infielder Lauren Holifield of New Hope – are a part of JCJC's 2013 recruiting class.
There will be four games played on Saturday. Beginning at 10 a.m., the first 1A/2A/3A game starts the day, followed by the first 4A/5A/6A game. At approximately 1:30 p.m., all of the All-Stars will be introduced followed by the second 1A/2A/3A game. The second 4A/5A/6A game will begin at approximately 3 p.m. and conclude the activities.
Players report to JCJC at 1 p.m. on Thursday and will take a team photo at 3 p.m. Practices will be held that evening and on Friday.
There will be a Home Run Derby at 6 p.m. on Friday at Community Bank Park. The players will then go to Space Tag in downtown Ellisville to play laser tag and ride go-karts.
"We can't thank the Mississippi Association of Coaches enough for letting us host these games," Robinson said. "We have a good working relationship with the MAC. We are definitely hosting it again next year and we would like to try and keep it for as long as possible."
Saturday's games are scheduled to be webcast on http://www.playonsports.com/channels/mac.
Tickets will be on sale at the gate for $5. For more information on the All-Star games, go to http://mscoaches.com/sports/softball.php
1A/2A/3A South Team
Mattie Avants, Bogue Chitto; Alexis Givens, Bogue Chitto; Emmalee Roberts, Enterprise-Clarke; Blakely Riley, Enterprise-Clarke; Demi Blaker, Our Lady Academy; Caitlin Dickerson, Philadelphia; Rachel Bond, Salem; Ashley Valentine, Stringer; Kaci Bryant, Taylorsville; Sarah Robinson, Wesson; Molly McLeod, Clarkdale; Heather Harwell, Clarkdale. Head Coach: Robyn Killebrew, Pass Christian. Assistant Coach: Rusty Necaise, Pass Christian.
1A/2A/3A North Team
Maggie Martin, Baldwyn; Alaina Hill, East Wheeler; Allie Steadman, Eupora; Taylor Hyland, Hamilton; Courtney Roberts, Hatley; Miah Edmonds, Mooreville; Mari Anna Young, Nettleton; Macy Lauren McCain, Smithville; Katelyn Ferguson, South Pontotoc; Bailey Bogue, West Union; Brittany Taylor, West Union; Cassidy DeNoon, Winona. Head Coach: Lisa Bogue, West Union. Assistant Coach: Bre Anna Heard, West Union.
4A/5A/6A South Team
Brittany Cooley, George County; Juliana Rouse, George County; Kimberly Gilbert, Harrison Central; Kaitlin Lee, Harrison Central; Kaytee Nelson, Northeast Lauderdale; Lauren Wells, North Pike; Kalyn Watts, Oak Grove; Mahalia Gibson, Oak Grove; Kaleigh Powell, Petal; Branda Northrop, Poplarville; Jay Harris, St. Martin; Aleyia Howze, Stone. Head Coach: Bruce Thornton, George County. Assistant Coach: Steven Jordan, George County.
4A/5A/6A North Team
Bailey Oswalt, Amory; Paige McKinney, Desoto Central; Chelsea Gates, Houston; Heath Griffith, Lake Cormorant; Katlyn Duke, Neshoba Central; DJ Sanders, New Hope; Kaitlyn Bradley, New Hope; Tylesha Davis, Northwest Rankin; Parris Ladner, Northwest Rankin; Hailee Kolwyck, Southaven; Olivia Owen, Pontotoc; Erin Claire Stegall, Pontotoc. Head Coach: Mike Armstrong, Northwest Rankin. Assistant Coach: Lee Alderman, Northwest Rankin.