Lady 'Cats Season Ends In Regional
'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
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
"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
"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,
'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
"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
"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
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
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston, Tennessee 38570