The Mississippi Association of Coaches’ recently-released All-Star roster featured a familiar name. Listed first, in fact.
Mantachie High School’s Lynsey Barber was among a pool of juniors selected as part of the prestigious roster.
“It’s an honor to be chosen to represent my school and my team in a game with some the best athletes in the state,” Barber said. “I have truly been blessed with great coaches and teammates that have helped me get to where I am today.”
Barber has been a cornerstone for the Lady Mustangs throughout her four years. She has compiled the most wins as a starting pitcher (65) in program history and has a career batting average near .530, one of the highest in the state over this stretch.
She goes by the nickname “Punk,” a moniker that has followed her since little league, alluding to her tough and gritty playing style, embodying that Mantachie blue-collar style.
As a seventh grader, Barber became a sensation in the circle, leading Mantachie to its first Fast-pitch North Half finals, before falling to the two-time defending state champions, East Webster.
The next year she pushed further, carrying the Lady Mustangs to the big dance, the State Championship series, against another defending state champion, the Taylorsville Lady Tartars.
Barber went pitch-for-pitch in Game 1 against one of the state’s top pitching recruits, Lauren Stringer, with both combining for a no-hitter through five innings. The Tartars eventually stole the game on an unearned run, winning 1-0, slashing the Mustangs championship hopes, yet Barber stole the show, winning over the respect of many across the state.
For the last two seasons, Barber has settled into a home at third base. Her bat has remained fiercely atop the batting order, waiting like a beacon in the night whenever the Lady Mustangs need a rally.
There has been no shortage in acclaim for Barber from her peers, coaches, or fans. Mantachie head coach Kristi Montgomery is quick to praise her now junior all-star, highlighting her work ethic and competitiveness.
“There’s only been a handful of special players come through and Lynsey is one of them,” said Montgomery. “She works hard and embraces pressure, never running from the big moment. She plays to win.”
Her future after high school is equally bright, with several colleges already champing at the bit for a chance to land this Mantachie home-grown “Punk.”