Now that we’re three good weeks into division play, we’re seeing some of our teams have some good weeks at times and some bad ones at others.
This past week, we saw two teams turn things around from a tough time the two weeks before and pick up a couple of good wins to get back in the thick of things in their respective divisions.
Amory, one of our baseball teams to watch at the beginning of the year, was on a skid to start division play, dropping a pair to Kossuth in the first week, then coming out on the losing side of two really good, tight games against Nettleton the second week of division play.
That put them having to play catch up right away to get back in the fight for those playoff spots in that really competitive division. To call Division 1-3A one of the best, top to bottom, is no where close to an exaggeration – Amory’s first two division series prove that, and Nettleton, which was undefeated in division play, took its first loss against Booneville last week as well.
We knew at the beginning of the season that Amory and Nettleton are legit playoff teams, ones I think have a shot to be in it for a while, so it was good to see the Panthers get two wins against Belmont and get back on track.
Their pitching has been stellar nearly all year, and they got the bats reignited at times this past week to get three good wins.
Smithville too started out 0-4 in division play, and it’s been a learning curve for the young Noles.
They had a shot in a few of their division losses already – both against Ingomar were close, and their first one against Baldwyn was as well.
The Noles also found some offense this past week, and hopefully they can keep it going this week in another key series with Wheeler, one that will definitely have a say in who makes it in the playoffs.
Hatley didn’t get the sweep against Houston, but their series this week makes that division interesting as well.
The Tigers and the Hilltoppers split with Hatley getting the first win and Houston the second, and I believe that both still have to play Choctaw County, which doesn’t seem like a team that will be a slouch either.
Hatley is doing fairly well with that one-two punch on the mound of Brody Bickerstaff and Luke Moffett, but they are also still cleaning up some things defensively and at the plate. A couple of wins over Choctaw could put them in good standing for the playoffs.
We’re nearly halfway through with division play, and in both baseball and softball, there’s still plenty left at stake in most of these division races.