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W. Lincoln trio, North Pike duo, Lawrence Co. pair in star wars

Three Lincoln Countians, plus a player and a coach from NorthPike, will participate in Saturday’s All-Star Slowpitch SoftballGames at Newton County High School in Decatur. They include CoachAndrew Redd, first baseman Alicia Kennedy and second baseman LaurenSmith of West Lincoln and Coach Sonya Wallace and shortstop EmilyVanLandingham of North Pike.

Fastpitch all-star action starts at noon tomorrow. RepresentingLawrence County on the South squad are Coach Beronica Stringfellowand second baseman Kaila Givens.

Sponsored by Baptist Rehab Services, tomorrow’s slowpitch andfastpitch action is hosted by the Mississippi Association ofCoaches. The all-star teams reported Thursday at East CentralCommunity College.

After a photo session Thursday and physical exams, the teamspracticed last night. The teams practiced this morning andafternoon.

On Saturday, the fastpitch games start at noon and the slowpitchgames at 4 p.m. Fastpitch will play two games. Slowpitch willfeature a best-of-three format.

“Sonya does a real good job with her softball program,” said Redd.This is Redd’s first all-star experience. He has been coachingsoftball for five years. He recently was named the DL’s AreaFastpitch Coach of the Year.

Asked about the all-star game, Redd said, “I’m looking forward toit. Both teams have a lot of talent. Many of the girls will beplaying college softball next season.”

Having Smith and Kennedy on the South team will be an advantage.They both have signed scholarships with Copiah-Lincoln CommunityCollege.

“I feel good about having two of my players in the game,” saidRedd. “Lauren and Alicia have been starting for us a long time.They were our senior leaders,” in slowpitch and fastpitch.

Smith has been in the starting lineup for 6 years. A catcher infastpitch, she was recognized as The DAILY LEADER’s 2005 MostValuable Player on the All-Area Fastpitch Softball Team.

Smith said she liked having Kennedy on the South squad. “I’ll havesomebody I know on the team. It will be like a high schoolgame.”

Kennedy and Smith both played in a softball tournament last weekendin Meridian. Smith sported a long, scrape on her lower right leg asa souvenir.

“I’m looking forward to the game,” said Kennedy. She was recognizedas the DL’s Defensive Player of the Year on the DL’s 2004 All-AreaSlowpitch Team.

“We will be playing everybody,” said Redd. “We’ve got to see who wehave. We expect to have all of the girls there.”

Fastpitch Action

Stringfellow said she is looking forward to the fastpitch all-stargame. “This is a great honor. Usually it takes coaches 10 or 15years to get to coach this game. I’ve only been in it fouryears.”

South co-coach is Tracy Box of East Central.

LCHS second baseman Kaila Givens will play for the South. She hassigned a softball scholarship with Southwest Mississippi CommunityCollege.

“Kaila is very patient at the plate,” said Stringfellow. “She’s agreat batter.

“In the field she’s tough,” Stringfellow added. “Kaila will dowhatever the job calls for. She doesn’t mind getting dirty.”

Stringfellow, who is working on her master’s degree in secondaryeducation this summer, said all of the all-stars would have anopportunity to play tomorrow.

VanLandingham has signed a soccer scholarship with Pearl RiverCommunity College. She played in the MAC’s All-Star Soccer Game atHinds Community College in Raymond last Saturday.

Wallace, a 1987 Bogue Chitto graduate, played in the first MACall-star game with Coach Lisa Rushing Covington of Brookhaven. Itwas held at Mississippi College 19 years ago.

“It will be an exciting time for me,” said Wallace. “It’s not everyday that you get to coach all-stars.”

Wallace played college softball at Mississippi College beforelaunching her coaching/teaching career. She’s been coaching atNorth Pike for nine years. She teaches math.

VanLandingham, 5-foot-4, was named to the DL’s All-Area Fastpitchand Slowpitch Teams.

“It will be a fun day for me,” said VanLandingham.