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Archives 03-07-2001

Sports

 

Lady 'Cats Season Ends In Regional
Lady 'Cats Softball Team Readies For Season

 

 

Lady 'Cats Season Ends In Regional
By Russell Garret

The Livingston Academy Lady Wildcats wrapped up the season with an overall record of 26-7 and an appearance in the Region 4-AA Tournament semifinals.

The Lady ‘Cats entered the Regional Tournament meeting the Sequatchie County Lady Indians on Tuesday, Feb. 27.

Lady Wildcats Coach Eddie Linder said, "We really didn't know a lot about Sequatchie County going into the game, but we felt like we wanted to take our best game down there and force them to adjust to our game."

The Lady 'Cats were hot from the start, outscoring Sequatchie County 14-6 in the first quarter. The Lady 'Cats stepped up their offensive attack in the second quarter racking up 24 points to the Lady Indian's 8. LA led 38-14 at the half.

"We felt like we got off to a good start in the first half," Coach Linder said. "We were able to pound the ball in the block and get some good easy buckets to build an early lead."

The Lady 'Cats continued to dominate the third quarter scoring with 16 points, and shutting down the Lady Indians offense, only allowing them 5 points in the third. LA would not let up. They outscored Sequatchie County 16-10 in the fourth quarter and went on to win 70-29.

"It was a good team effort," Coach Linder said. "We were able to play a lot of players which allowed us to stay rested for our game the next day against Upperman."

The Lady 'Cats offense was led by Stephanie Sullivan with 18 points. She was followed by Megan Thompson with 14 points, Jessica Leach with 9 points, Katrina Beechboard with 7 points, Christen Cates with 6 points, Jenna Baltimore with 5 points, Heather Walker with 3 points, and Renee Melton, Kasey Baltimore, Chelsie Stover, and Kelly Thurman each with 2 points.

The win advanced the Lady 'Cats to the semifinals where they met the Upperman Lady Bees on Wednesday, Feb. 28. "We have looked forward to this game for weeks and weeks," Coach Linder said.

"Everyone looks forward to that semifinal region game which is a must win to advance, and we entered the game rested, very prepared, had a good frame of mind, and were very focused."

The Lady 'Cats came out and played well on both ends of the court. They outscored Upper-man 11-4 in the first quarter. LA protected their 7 point lead in the second quarter by splitting scoring 11-11 with the Lady Bees and led 22-15 at the half.

"We got off to a real good start, led by 7 at half, and I was real proud of our defensive effort," Coach Linder said. "Any time you hold Upperman to 15 points at the half you have done a pretty good job."

The teams remained even in the third quarter, both teams putting 9 points on the board. It appeared that the Lady ‘Cats might break their 7 game losing streak to Upperman, but like all good teams, the Lady Bees would have something to say about that.

"We knew that Upperman would make a run, like all good teams do, and they did," Coach Linder said, "and we made some turnovers in the fourth quarters that you cannot make against a good team like Upperman, which allowed them to get back in the game."

Upperman began the fourth quarter with a 7-0 run to tie the game 31-31 with just over six minutes to play. The teams would be back and forth throughout the fourth quarter, but a put back by Jessica Leach put the Lady ‘Cats up by 2 with just 50 seconds left in the game; however, Upperman's Emily Christian bucketed two free throws to tie the game at 35 and sent the contest into overtime.

"The game came down to the wire and we had a shot to win at the end of regulation and just couldn't follow through with it," Coach Linder said.

LA could not hang on in the extra period. Upperman out-scored the Lady 'Cats 10-2 to take the win 45-37 and send the Lady ‘Cats home.

"We just got outscored in overtime," Coach Linder said. "I was very proud of our defensive effort. We came to win the ball game and played that way, but we made some turnovers that kept us from winning the game."

Scoring for LA was led by Jenna Baltimore with 11 points, followed by Katrina Beechboard and Stephanie Sullivan each with 10 points, Renee Melton with 4 points, and Jessica Leach with 2 points.

"It was an outstanding performance by the girls. We have come a long way and improved throughout the year," Coach Linder said. "Not only was I proud of them, but everyone who watched the game saw that they came to play and they gave it their all, and that is all we ever ask of them."

The Lady 'Cats finished the season with an overall record of 26-7, and expectations are high for next season with the core of the team returning. The Lady 'Cats will lose one player, Heather Walker, to graduation.

 

 

 

 

Lady 'Cats Softball Team Readies For Season

By Dewain E. Peek

 

 

Members of the 2001 Lady Wildcats Softball Team are, kneeling from left, Hannah Stafford, Stacey Bishop, Letrice Smith, Brook Thompson, Cory Parsons, Lauren Linder, Lacey White, Jamie Boles, standing from left, manager Lindsey Looper, manager Danielle Handy, Amanda Dodson, Sarah Maynord, Bethany Greenwood, Brittany Smith, Althea Allred, Cassandra Cobble, Aspen Allen, Ashley Johnson, manager Jamie Thurman, and, not pictured, manager Kristen Coleman.

 

 

Coach Danny McCormick is entering the 2001 softball season with a veteran team dependent on youth. The Livingston Academy Lady Wildcats softball team has six seniors, but the pitching chores will fall on the shoulders of a freshman.

"We're a veteran club," Coach McCormick said. "We have six seniors and two juniors. We start a freshman pitcher. I've really got to look at this season as trying to build this pitcher, and hope that we can help her."

Freshman Amanda Dodson saw her first real batters in a scrimmage against Macon County on Thursday, March 1. Coach McCormick was impressed by his young hurler's first outing.

"I threw her to the lions right off, and there's nobody to back her up," he said. "Jamie Boles is going to help a little bit.

"I was pleased with Amanda. I thought she showed some poise to be a freshman. She didn't get rattled.

"I put Jamie in to pitch an inning and she struggled a little bit and I took Amanda and put her back in with the bases loaded. She threw strikes, and that's all a coach can ask. "I was holding my breath because I had not seen her pitch in any kind of competition.

"She did a lot more right than she did wrong."

The scrimmage exposed an early weakness in the Lady 'Cats, a decided lack of hitting.

"We hadn't worked on hitting at all," Coach McCormick said. "I knew it would be a little rough. "We'd worked a little bit on defense. I was pleased."

Pleased is high praise considering that only three players are in the same positions defensively as last year. Returning at the same positions are Jamie Boles at third base, Letrice Smith at shortstop, and Hannah Stafford at catcher.

"We're an old team but we're in new positions," Coach McCormick said. "Cory Parsons played first; she was probably the best first baseman in our district last year. Because of necessity, you've gotta be strong up the middle, she's gone to center field. We've got Lacey White playing first now, and she didn't play at all last year, but she looked good yesterday at first. She's doing everything a coach could ask.

"We've got Brook Thompson, who played left field last year, has now moved to second base. So, we're really new in a lot of positions.

Where last year's team was built on the strong pitching of Courtney Curtis and reliable defense, this year's team will be considerably different.

"Last year we approached it differently," Coach McCormick said. "We had a senior pitcher, a couple of seniors, we were strong up the middle, we went for broke. I think we were 11-1 in the district at the end of the season.

"You have to be strong up the middle. Give me a good catcher, a good pitcher, second baseman, shortstop, center fielder, and you'll beat a lot of people. We had that last year. This year all of a sudden we've got a new pitcher, a new second baseman, a new center fielder.

"This year we're not going to worry about the season at all. I don't care what we finish, but come the end of the season we're going to be a stronger team with a stronger pitcher, stronger catcher. If we do that, regardless of if we win a game all year, we've had a successful season.

"I'm hoping Amanda steps up by mid-season with the support I can give her with these seniors and juniors. We could be a team by maybe tournament time to deal with."

Along with Courtney Curtis, the Lady ‘Cats lost second baseman Julie Boles and center fielder Melissa Prichard to graduation.

Of those players Coach McCormick said, "Julie Boles was awesome. You don't replace a Julie Boles or a Melissa Prichard overnight. And Courtney of course was a premier pitcher in our district."

This year the senior leadership will come from Lauren Linder, Stacey Bishop, Brook Thompson, Letrice Smith, Lacey White, and Cory Parsons. Veteran juniors returning are Jamie Boles and Hannah Stafford.

Coach McCormick is looking forward to the sophomore and freshman players contributing. "I have some freshmen and sophomores that are outstanding," he said.

Sophomores are Althea Allred, Brittany Smith, and Ashley Johnson. Freshmen are Aspen Allen, Bethany Greenwood, Amanda Dodson, Cassandra Cobble, and Sarah Maynord.

This year's team is expected to be built around speed.

"We have to have speed, because we're not going to beat a lot of people with longballs, doubles and triples,” Coach McCormick said. "There's a little bit of speed with my seniors. Jamie Boles is a junior and she's got some speed. Aspen Allen's a freshman and she's tremendous. She's got speed."

With a young pitcher getting on-the-job experience and position players learning how to play new positions, Coach McCormick knows his players have their work cut out for them.

"We've got a lot to work on," he said. "I see the potential once they become comfortable with it."

 

 

 

Overton County News
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