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Archives 04-02-2003

Sports

 


LA girls tennis catches Lady Bears hibernating
Lady Cats softball team endures tough week
Cats soccer team shuts out competition
LA baseball team takes two on week

 

LA girls tennis catches Lady Bears hibernating

By KEVIN BURMEISTER, OCN staff

After a successful go-round during last week's action, the Livingston Academy tennis teams looked to come away with yet another solid showing as they hosted Celina on Monday, March 24.

The Bulldogs would have been better off staying leashed, with the rampant Cats clawing their way to domestic animal domination.

Rachel Barlow paced LA with an 8-5 set win, accompanying victories by Wrenda Curd, who won 8-3, Brooke Ledbetter, who took a win by the same margin, and Ronance Jackson, a winner in her 8-1 set.

In doubles action, Barlow and Curd took the long way to victory, with a 7-5 tie-break win. LA Coach Rick Moles believes the girls could have played at a higher level than what he saw against Celina.

"We won the top three out of four matches," he said. "But then we lost from there down, and that's what kind of bothers me. The girls who played lower should have played better than they did, and that kind of surprised me."

The boys couldn't catch a break against the hounding Bulldogs, with Daniel Sweeney being handed an 4-8 loss by Celina's Lee Owens, despite noble efforts against last year's second-ranked district player. The Wildcats did manage one set win, an 8-1 victory courtesy of Bryan Murphy.

The doubles circuit fared no better for the boys, as they lost all their pairs sets.

"The boys played pretty good," Moles said. "But again, they're building. They have a ways to go."

On Tuesday, March 24, Livingston entered match play against the Mt. Juliet Bears with a grizzly-proportioned appetite for winning.

The girls squad just barely appeased their taste for victory with a dominating win against the Lady Bears. Dana Ledbetter led LA with an 8-4 set win, followed by Rachel Barlow, who won hers by an 8-5 margin. Wrenda Curd had somewhat of an off-day, falling short with a 4-8 loss.

Things turned Livingston's way farther down the scorecard, with Brooke Ledbetter squeezing past the opposition with an 8-6 win in a hotly contested tie-break, as well as an 8-2 victory by Leah Thomas.

In doubles play, the usually dynamic duo of Curd and Barlow fell flat, as they were handed a 3-8 drubbing, while the Ledbetter sisters persevered their way to a 7-3 tie-break victory.

The boy Cats played their way to a pair of set wins, with Andy Sathern dominating in an 8-1 smothering, and Bryan Murphy once again doing his part, with an 8-5 win. As pairs, the boys fell apart, finishing the day winless in doubles play.

Look for the Wildcats to continue their path to the district tournament, as they once again take on Celina, with the Bulldogs hosting the matches on Thursday, April 3.

LA continues the three-game road trip against DeKalb County the following day, Friday, April 4. Livingston will travel to Lebanon to take on the Commanders of Friendship Christian Academy on Monday, April 7.

 

 

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Lady Cats softball team endures tough week

By ASHLEY HUNTER, OCN staff

The Livingston Academy Wildcats softball team was busy last week. The girls played six games, all on the road. They came out of it with a 1-5 record for the week.

The Lady Wildcats traveled to Carthage to take on the Smith County Owlettes on Monday, March 24. They didn't manage to get anything going as Smith County threw good play at the Lady Cats, going up 5-0 before the fifth and final inning. In that fifth inning, Smith County continued to be hot, scoring 5 more runs, and beating LA 10-0.

Sarah Maynord got LA's only 2 hits in the second and fourth innings. Ashley Howard pitched the entire contest, striking out 1 and walking 2.

Lady Wildcats Coach Mike Johnson said of the loss, "They were a really good team. They have a really great pitcher and they just shut us down offensively."

The next day, Tuesday, March 25, the Lady Cats were once again on the road, this time taking on the Upperman High School Lady Bees.

This was very much an edge-of-your-seat action kind of game. LA's Ashley Johnson scored a run in the first inning to put LA up 1-0. Then, in inning numero dos, LA's Stasha Babb also made it all the way around the bases, putting LA up 2-0. Livingston didn't bring any offensive output to the table during the third inning, while Upperman's Amanda Brown scored a run for the Lady Bees, making it a 2-1 ballgame. Then,

Livingston's Andrea Borden scored a run, putting the Lady Cats up 3-1. The UHS team then scored 2 runs in the fifth inning, tying the score at 3 apiece.

The game then went into extra innings, not one, not two, but three extra frames. In the third extra inni

ng, it was a second base coach's choice situation, and UHS made it home first, winning the game, 4-3. Coach Johnson said, "We really played great in that game. The girls seemed more relaxed than they usually were. We got lots of good hits and had a chance to win, but let it slip away.

"We can't wait to play them again. If we try our best, we can beat them."

LA continued to travel the area, taking on Celina on Wednesday, March 26.

Celina started off hot in the first inning, scoring 4 runs to LA's 1. No one scored anything in the second or third innings. LA's Ashley Johnson managed to get around the bases in the fourth inning. No one else scored in the fourth or fifth innings.

Livingston's bats started to connect in the sixth inning as the Lady Cats scored 9 runs in the frame. LA senior Ashley Johnson scored 2 runs in the inning, hitting it out of the park both times. Johnson also had 3 RBI.

Aspen Allen also scored 2 runs. Allen had a run batted in. Sarah Maynord, Stasha Babb, Andrea Borden, Bethany Greenwood, Lisa Reeder, and Jessica McDonald all also scored a run apiece in the inning.

In total, Livingston posted 9 runs in the inning while Celina was only able to score 3. No one scored in the seventh inning, and LA won the game, 12-7.

On the mound, LA's Whitney Walker pitched her first game ever, striking out 4 and walking the same number.

Coach Johnson said of the victory, "We started off in the hole, but the girls never gave up, finally got their bats working, and we moved on to our first win.

"Whitney Walker did a really nice job pitching her first game for us."

The next day, Thursday, March 27, the Lady Cats traveled to Cannon County.

The Lionettes got on the board early, scoring 4 runs in the first inning to Livingston's 1. LA came back to outscore Cannon County 2-1 in the second inning; however, Cannon County shut the Wildcats out in the third inning, 2 runs to nada.

When LA gets runs, almost everyone scores one. This time it was a very busy fourth inning for the Lady Cats offensively, as Aspen Allen, Ashley Johnson, Althea Allred, Stasha Babb, and Bethany Greenwood all got runs in the frame.

The magic didn't stick with LA for the rest of the game. The Lady Cats scored no more runs, and Cannon County scored 7. The Lady Cats lost 7-12.

Coach Johnson said, "We played really well for the first four innings, then it all kind of fell away in the end."

The next day, Friday, March 28, LA went to a tournament in Cookeville and played games against Red Boiling Springs and Cookeville.

In the game against Red Boiling Springs, RBS got off to an early lead, outscoring LA 2-0 in the first inning and 4-1 in the second inning. LA outscored RBS 1-0 in the third inning. Red Boiling Springs outscored the Lady Cats 1-0 for the rest of the game, though, and won the contest 6-2.

Coach Johnson said, "It was the rematch with Red Boiling Springs that we had been wanting. We hit the ball better and made a lot of other improvements. Unfortunately, they did too."

As if the softball team wasn't tired enough, they took on Cookeville a couple of hours after the Red Boiling Springs game. The Livingston team, obviously very tired, played JV players for a good portion of the game, and Cookeville shut LA out, 7-0.

Livingston Academy's record stood at 1-7 after the week's play.

Following home games on Monday, March 31 and Tuesday, April 1 against Smith County and Cannon County, the Lady Cats will take on Jackson County at home on Thursday, April 3, and then travel to Sparta on Friday, April 4 to take on White County's Warriorettes.

Coach Johnson said of the upcoming games, "I was really proud of last week's play, and, if we play well, we can win some of these next few games.

 

 

 

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Cats soccer team shuts out competition

By LYNDON JOHNSON, OCN staff

 

Lyndon Johnson/OCN staff

Marco Lisi keeps the ball moving Livingston Academy's way in Friday's victory over York Institute's Dragons in Jamestown. LA won with a strong defensive effort.

 

The Livingston Academy Wildcats soccer program has put up a veritable fence. De-fence, that is. After four games on the road, the team has kept up the defensive pressure and secured four consecutive shutouts.

Livingston Academy soccer maestro Ethan King said, "Our defense is very excited about that, and well they should be. They should be proud.

"Only one other team has been able to make good quality shots (on us) and that was Mt. Juliet Christian, but (goalie) Drew Randolph ended up having one of his best games, stepping it up.

"Overall, the defense has been superb. I can't ask anything more of them. They've shut out a lot of other teams' offenses and allowed us to put more people on the attack, which has helped us."

The Cats would not be happy merely pulling the shutout and not scoring any goals of their own, and would go on to win both games played last week.

LA opened last week's play at Smith County on Tuesday, March 25. The Cats would perform well despite missing a few players due to spring break plans.

The team came out firing early, and, coupled with the afforementioned dominant defense, all three of the goals scored on the game were in favor of the Wildcats and came in the first half. Sophomore Jacob Pennington scored two goals, and sophomore Westley Burnett fired in the team's third. Junior Lance Ruanto had an assist, as did Jacob Pennington and Jeffrey Cummings.

The Cats would continue their domination on the pitch, but would score no more goals in the second half.

"We kept the ball in their end for the most part," Coach King said of his team's well-rounded showing.

The Wildcats rolled into Jamestown on Friday, March 28, to play their district rivals, the York Dragons.

Not long after the opening whistle, goalie Drew Randolph came out of the net to grab a ball meandering toward the Wildcats net and was clobbered by a Dragon making haste for said ball. Despite the fact that this kind of incident oftentimes leads to the referee handing out a yellow card to the offensive player in question, no such penalty was distributed.

Coach King explained, "It was kind of questionable. The ref decided that both players had a chance at the ball, so he didn't give a card."

Randolph shook out the cobwebs and went on to play the rest of the game, though he later said he thought about stepping off the field for a moment and letting sophomore Graham Goodman fill in while he caught his breath.

Coach King said of the battered Randolph, "Drew's pretty tough. He's a pretty tough kid and he can handle himself back there just fine."

The game resumed and the Cats managed to steer one past the York goalkeeper. The goal was scored by sophomore Wesley Puckett and assisted by senior Cody Boles.

The goal was a welcome addition to the score card, but the Wildcats didn't seem to be firing on all cylinders. The offense took only 4 shots on goal for the first 45 minutes of play, and the defense let the Dragon offense get by a couple of times, forcing Randolph to step up and steer the ball back into Dragon territory.

On top of all that, junior Robert Brady mildly injured his foot in the closing minutes of the half, something Coach King described as merely an aggravation of a past injury.

Despite somewhat mediocre playing and a couple of bruised players, the Cats managed to hold the Dragons scoreless and end the first half leading 1-0.

The second half would be a much different story. The Cats took a few pointers from their coach during the halftime break and came back onto the field to make good on what they had learned.

The Wildcats offense was officially cookin' with gas during the second half, firing a total 24 shots at the York goal, several of which skimmed by the defense and had to be stopped by the goalkeeper.

But the LA offense would not have done so well if not for their other half. The defense didn't let anything by them in second half play, keeping the Dragons from making much offensive headway of their own.

With so much cohesive dominance at both ends of the field, it was only a matter of time (and shots on goal) before the ball was in the back of the Dragon net. And into the back of the net it did go, if only once, courtesy of Jacob Pennington's boot, assisted by Westley Burnett's.

"That second half was probably the best half we've had all season," Coach King said. "Only one of our shots went in, but we had a lot of them on the goal, and their keeper had to make a lot of saves.

"We kept a lot of pressure on their defense, and kept the ball in their end of the field because of that.

"I'm very pleased with the way we played that game.

"Hopefully we'll keep seeing an effort like we did that second half for the rest of the season, and we'll be in pretty good shape," he went on to say.

Standout offensive players Cody Boles and Jacob Penning-ton garnered praise from the coach for their performance in the game.

"Both of them had a lot of shots, not only that, but they were good shots, shots where the keeper had to make a save, Coach King said. "They did a good job."

The defense has also performed very well. Has the team fully adjusted to life without the superlative Joe Nigro?

"We've kind of moved some people around, assured King, "and the defense is working good.

"Drew and Andy (Gunnels) have anchored it, and somebody who has played very well is Brian McDonald. This being his first year at fullback, he's done really well.

"Marco Lisi and a couple others have really stepped it up. Marco is one of those who seems to improve more and more as the season goes along."

After a game at Friendship Christian on Tuesday, April 1, the Wildcats will play a rescheduled game at home against the White County Warriors. The game was originally slotted in as the very last game of the regular season, but will now be played at LA this Saturday, April 5. The Cats will play Boyd Christian in yet another away game Monday, April 7.

 

LA baseball team takes two on week

By DEWAIN E. PEEK, OCN staff

After letting one get away to start the week, Livingston Academy's Wildcats won two baseball games against area opponents.

"We ended up 2-1, LA Coach Pat Swallows said summing up last week's play.

The Cats began last week's slate at Sparta against the White County Warriors on Monday, March 24.

"We played three great innings," Coach Swallows said. "Brian Colson had a no-hitter after three. We were up 3-0 and cruising, and then in the fourth, things just kind of fell apart, and we made a couple of mistakes.

"They hit some balls that just had eyes." When the final Warrior out was recorded in the inning, the Sparta team had placed 6 runs on the board. Enough to give the home team a 6-4 win. "We played a pretty decent game that one inning just killed us, Coach Swallows said.

The Cats hit the road again the next day to take on the Cannon County Lions.

"We played real well," Coach Swallows said. "We ended up beating them 13-1.

"Kyle (Copeland) threw a 4-hitter, struck out 10, and he also went 3 for 4 at the plate. So, he had a great day."

Other offensive highlights included Michael Murphy going 3 for 4, and Todd Rose hitting a home run.

They will again face Cannon County when Livingston Academy plays host to the Lions on Friday, April 4.

"Cannon's dangerous," Coach Swallows said. "They're pretty good athletes. We played a good ballgame against them; we got some real timely hits."

Livingston Academy hosted Celina on Wednesday, March 26 in a game rescheduled from the start of the season. The Cats took care of business with a 12-2 rout.

Cody Sells took the win on the mound for LA by striking out 11 and allowing only 4 hits.

"We hit four home runs that night," Coach Swallows said of his team's offensive output. "Todd (Rose) hit two, Kyle (Copeland) hit one, and Michael Poston hit one. Three of them came in the same inning.

"Our bats have come alive the last couple of games. Hopefully, that will continue."

The week's play moved LA's District 7-AA record to 4-0 and the overall record to 5-6-1. The Cats have been dominant at home, at 4-0, and suspect away, at 1-6.

Errors and passed balls plagued the team at the start of the season; now that problematic aspect of the team appears to be dissipating.

"We're improving," Coach Swallows said. "Chris Nelson has really solidified the catching position. He's doing a great job. He's kind of stopped a lot of that passed ball problem that we were having early.

"We still are making some of those routine ground ball errors that we've got to cut out. We're working hard trying to eliminate those things. If they don't come in bunches, we're okay."

After playing Monterey at home on Monday, March 31, and traveling to Smithville to take on DeKalb County's Tigers in a fight for possession of the top spot in District 7-AA, Livingston Academy will host Jackson County on Thursday, April 3, Cannon County on Friday, April 4, and White County on Saturday, April 5. The Cats will travel to Lafayette on Sunday, April 6 to play the Macon County Tigers.

 

 

 

 

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