By Robert Wilson

       Hartfield Academy’s Ma’Nia Womack became the first softball player in school history to sign a Division I scholarship when she signed with Ole Miss this fall.

       The 5-foot-11 Womack can play basketball, too, and if she chose to, could probably play that sport in college as well.

       The senior guard had her best week of the season and averaged 22 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals in two MAIS Class 6A conference games last week.

       For her outstanding performances, Womack has been named the Performance Therapy/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Girls Basketball Player of the Week.

       Womack scored a career-high 27 points with 5 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 assist in a 63-42 victory over defending MAIS Overall Tournament champion Jackson Prep. She also had 17 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals in a 58-50, double overtime loss to Presbyterian Christian School. Womack scored 5 points – a 3-pointer and a 15-footer – in the final 18 seconds in regulation against PCS to send the game into overtime.

       “Ma’Nia has been everything I expected and more,” first-year Hartfield coach Mark Alexander said. “She’s a really good athlete, and an even better young woman. Ma’Nia has stepped up her level of play since we entered conference play. She was special against Jackson Prep. Ma’Nia only had 2 points at halftime at PCS. I told my team we weren’t going to have any chance of winning if she was only going to have 2 points. She came out in the second half and had 15. Ma’Nia is a competitor. She hates to lose. Softball is her top sport, but Ma’Nia is a really good basketball player, too. Her athleticism and overall skill set make her a really tough matchup.”

       Womack – a member of the PriorityOne Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Preseason Elite 11 Team – is averaging 14 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals, 2.1 assists and 1 blocked shot per game this season for 21-3 Hartfield going into this week’s games. She is averaging 21.8 points in conference games going into this week.

Womack averaged 10 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2 steals and led Hartfield to a 28-7 record, a MAIS Class 6A state tournament runner-up finish and Overall Tournament semifinal finish last season as a junior. She made third team All-Metro Jackson last season.

A talented shortstop in softball, Womack is ranked No. 18 in the country in the Class of 2023 by Extra Inning Softball. She hit .520 as a senior, .488 as a junior and .421 as a sophomore. Womack also was the MAIS Class 6A Player of the Year and led Hartfield to the MAIS Class 6A state championship as a junior in 2021.

Coaches can nominate their players by calling or texting Robert Wilson at 601.506.2276. Only players who play for teams in Hinds, Madison and Rankin Counties are eligible.