By JOEL COLEMAN
Three area high school softball seniors get the opportunity to wrap up their prep careers in style this weekend as part of the Mississippi Association of Coaches All-Star Games.
East Webster's Swayze Hollenhead and Cayley McClellan, along with Ackerman's Andrea Cutts will each take part in the two-day event, hosted at Newton County High School's Mack Fanning Field in Decatur.
McClellan, selected as an all-star for the Class A/2A/3A slow pitch games, will help begin the weekend's activities with a pair of contests today.
Playing for a North squad coached by Wheeler's Andy Richey and James Shaw, McClellan and her teammates will play at 5:30 p.m. and again later in the evening.
Hollenhead and Cutts will be teammates on the Class A/2A/3A North fast pitch team, guided by Nettleton's Chris Kidd and Dana Rhea.
Hollenhead, a Mississippi State signee and the Starkville Daily News 2011 All-Area Fastpitch Player of the Year, along with Cutts, a Northeast Mississippi Community College signee, will hit the field for a pair of games on Saturday beginning at 10 a.m.
The MAC All-Star Softball Games consist of a two-game series featuring a North versus South format in each classification. Since 2006, the year the current format was adopted, the North leads the Class A/2A/3A slowpitch series 3-0-2. Last year, the North swept the two-game set by scores of 15-2 and 13-0.
In the fast pitch series, the South leads the Class A/2A/3A series with a 3-1-1 record. In 2010, the South shut out the North in each game, winning 6-0 and 10-0.
As the North looks to continue their slow pitch dominance and bounce back from last year's fast pitch setback, there's no doubt the services of Hollenhead, McClellan and Cutts will come in handy.
That could particularly ring true for Hollenhead and McClellan, who are still riding high after playing for a Class 2A fast pitch championship just under three weeks ago.
Wolverines head coach Meleah Brown says she is glad to see her two players get the chance to play in the MAC games as they bring the momentum of East Webster's 2011 fast pitch success to the North squads.
"They are both hard workers, leaders and positive role models on and off the field," said Brown. "I am so proud of them. They have always set good examples for the younger players and I appreciate all that they have done."