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Whoever said that this would be a down year for slow pitch softball in the county was wrong.
One thing I’ve learned from working in Union County is that fans are passionate about any and all sports, including this one. Slow pitch is a sport that’s grown on me, and when you have successful teams to watch on a daily basis, it’s easy to follow and enjoy.
Last year’s playoffs brought a lot of excitement, from the 1A North Half Championship coming down to county rivals to the Lady Eagles sending their coach out on top with their first state championship.
Looking at this season, I couldn’t tell who would be a clear cut favorite in the county, and the UCT proved that with the teams ending the day about as even as you can get- all with 2-2 records and the championship coming down to a tiebreaker.
Looking now at the playoffs, which start next Tuesday, every Union County team plus Hickory Flat will be in the postseason, something that has not happened while I’ve been here.
As far as the brackets for each class, the usual suspects have made their return, with West Union looking to defend their state title in 1A. Myrtle, Ingomar and East Union are also making return trips this season.
New Albany plays in one of the tougher divisions, with Pontotoc, North Pontotoc and Tishomingo County. The Lady ‘Dawgs swept both the Lady Vikings and Lady Braves to make their first playoff appearance since 2003.
I’m currently mapping out possible scenarios, because I love watching in-county showdowns during the postseason (the first possible one would be Ingomar-Myrtle in the second round of 1A in case you were wondering). This is also a time that I kindly remind everyone that I can’t be everywhere at once.
Brandon Speck out of Monroe County is the male version of me, tackling, I think, six schools by himself. We enjoy the playoffs because that normally means a couple of our teams will square off, and we can help one another. This is the case once again, as we have two series in the first round (East Union-Hamilton and New Albany-Amory).
Along with Speck, I’m asking for help from everyone else. I have two home teams on Tuesday (Myrtle and East Union), so I’ll be with them. If your team is on the road, hit me up with some info and pictures so everyone is covered equally.
We’re all proud of what these girls have accomplished, now let’s make sure they get the recognition they deserve.