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Archives 04-09-2003

Sports

 


Cats push win streek to 6
Cats continue to shut out soccer competition
Lady Cats take three wins on week
LA Tennis captures Tigers and road wins

 

Cats push win streek to 6

Michael Murphy pitched LA to a 16-6 win over Jackson County last Thursday. He struck out 8 Blue Devils.

 

By DEWAIN E. PEEK, OCN staff

The Livingston Academy Wildcats baseball team is hitting its stride and hitting opposing pitching early and often. A six-game winning streak has pushed the Cats to the top spot in District 7-AA, with four of those in the last week.

LA Wildcats Coach Pat Swallows said, "Our hitting is really coming around.

"We're doing a lot of good things; not only just hitting the ball. We're advancing runners, and scoring runners from third when we need to, laying down some bunts to score some people.

"So, we're finally understanding what we've got to do, rather than just up there swinging the bat, we've got to do what's best for our team. And that's been pretty evident the way they've scored runs."

The Cats started the week by being stingy with hits and runs. LA's Brian Colson pitched a no-hitter against Monterey's Wildcats on Monday, March 31.

"He walked the first hitter of the game, and then didn't walk anybody else," Coach Swallows said. "He did a great job."

Colson struck out 9 in the outstanding performance.

"We didn't score a lot of runs, but we did some things that were good enough for us to win,” Coach Swallows said. "They played a really good ballgame against us, real scrappy. Their kid threw a pretty good ballgame."

Michael Poston got the offense started for LA with a home run in the 4-0 non-district victory.

Next up was DeKalb County's Tigers, the only team standing between LA and the top spot in District 7-AA. The Cats were up to the task.

"We started off the game, the first pitch was a triple, second pitch was another triple, third pitch was a double, then we grounded out, and then we doubled again," Coach Swallows said. "After 8 pitches, we were up 4-0. We just absolutely wore him out, and jumped on them in a hurry."

When the smoke cleared, Livingston had taken a 9-3 win on the Smithville team's home field.

"Kyle again threw a great game,” Coach Swallows said of his winning pitcher. Copeland struck out 13, allowed 8 hits and 2 earned runs, and helped himself offensively with 4 hits.

Michael Poston hit another home run.

On the Tigers' side, Justin Hooper hit a solo home run, and Destin Farr hit a home run and a run-scoring double.

"That was a big win for us down there," Coach Swallows said. "The defense played okay. We're still struggling a little bit defensively. We've just got to continue to work on that, and try to get better."

Livingston hosted Jackson County's Blue Devils on Thursday, April 3. The Cats burned the Devils 16-6.

"We hit that ball, again, real well," Coach Swallows said. "Again our defense cost us some opportunities to get out of situations where they wouldn't have scored if we'd have done a couple of things."

Michael Murphy got the win, striking out 8 and giving up 4 hits. He also helped his own cause offensively by popping 4 hits and driving in 3 runs.

Brian Colson had 3 hits, including a home run, and Cody Sells hit a home run in the game.

Cannon County's Lions came to Wildcat Field on Friday night and became the third 7-AA victim of the week for LA, who overpowered the Woodbury team 12-2.

Cody Sells recorded the win for LA on the mound, striking out 9 and gave up 4 hits.

Colson hit another home run, and Todd Rose had 2 hits.

"We scored 9 times in the fourth," Coach Swallows said.

"So, we scored some runs this week, and played pretty well."

Saturday's scheduled game against White County and Sunday's scheduled game against Macon County were rained out.

The week's wins pushed the Wildcats to a 7-0 record in District 7-AA, 9-6-1 overall.

After a scheduled game against Celina on Monday, April 7, and a district game at York Institute on Tuesday, April 8, the Wildcats will travel to Baxter on Wednesday, April 9 to take on the Bees in another district contest. The LA Cats will then play in a tournament in Kentucky scheduled for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, April 10-12. LA will start in the tournament by taking on Pulaski, KY, at 6 p.m. Thursday.

 

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Cats continue to shut out soccer competition

Lyndon Johnson/OCN staff

Cody Boles drives the ball downfield for Livingston Academy in Saturday's shutout win over Sparta.

 

BY LYNDON JOHNSON, OCN staff

The Livingston Academy Wildcats soccer machine continued its program of defensive dominance on the road, and, alas, finally at home during the course of the last week.

The Cats played the fourth of their regular-season away games Tuesday, April 1 against Friendship Christian School, the very opponent against which they started their vicious cycle of shutout games at the season opener March 11.

Livingston Academy Soccer Coach Ethan King said, "We played very good, and we did good (dealing) with the large field."

The contest ended with the Wildcats handing out their fifth shutout of the season and winning the game 4-0.

Alex Gunnels booted in 2 goals, whilst Jacob Pennington and Ben Jolley had a goal apiece.

Andy Gunnels had 2 assists in the game.

"We kind of dominated the second half," King said of his troops, who seem to be good at doing such.

In a game earlier in the season, the Wildcats took a mere 4 shots on goal in the first half, then came back with a vengeance in the second to take a mighty 24 shots.

"In the second half, we took control,” summed up the coach. "We controlled the pace of the game.”

After that dominant performance on foreign soil, the Cats returned home on Saturday, April 5 to play hearty rival White County High School.

The Cats came out on fire. A mere 30 seconds into the first half, the scoreboard lit up in Livingston's favor, thanks to the sure foot of Westley Burnett and a nice set-up from Jacob Pennington.

The team went on to play the rest of the first half without scoring, as would the visiting Warriors.

During the second half, Livingston would again make the net go swish. Jonathan McGill made a good cross from a corner kick, which was directed, albeit unsuccessfully, toward the goal by Westley Burnett. The ball subsequently fell back to the foot of McGill, who directed the ball to the desired destination, post-haste.

Again, the Wildcats seemed to perform better during the second half than in the first, but that could be at least partially laid on a tired, frustrated White County soccer team.

"It got physical toward the end,” Coach King said. "I think they got a little frustrated, but we held our own, and, for the most part, kept a cool head.

"A couple of our players got yellow cards, but (White County) had a couple of thier own."

The game would end with the Cats securing their sixth consecutive shutout in as many games.

Coach King credited the good showing against White County to the midfielders and, of course, the proverbial dean's list of defensemen.

"Our midfield dominated the game," Coach King said. "Cody Boles, Robert Brady, Alex Gunnels, and Wesley Puckett dominated in the midfield, which allowed us to play our game.

"(White County) had a couple of good challenging shots, and Drew had a couple of good saves,” King pontificated.

Included in that "couple of good saves" was a full-on dive to stop the ball from entering the Wildcat net.

With the season's first six games booked in the Wildcats' favor, the team looks to play its final two away games of the regular season, starting with Boyd Christian on Monday, April 7, and finishing up at DeKalb County on Thursday, April 10.

Then Livingston Academy is scheduled to host the York Dragons on Friday, April 11, then host Smith County's Owls on Tuesday, April 15.

 

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Lady Cats take three wins on week

Lyndon Johnson/OCN staff

Stasha Babb drives the ball with a hard hit in Thursday's home game against Jackson County. Livingston Academy won the District 7-AA contest 7-1.

 

By ASHLEY HUNTER, OCN staff

The Livingston Academy Lady Wildcats softball team has finally gotten the ball rolling, winning three of the four games played last week.

Like some good things, the week started off a little rocky. The Lady Cats took their second loss of the season to Smith County on Monday, March 31, this time losing 5-0 in a game played at Livingston City Park to facilitate a junior varsity game later under the lights.

The Carthage team scored a run in the second inning and 4 runs in the fifth inning to take the 5-0 victory.

LA Coach Mike Johnson said, "Although we lost, we really improved over our last game against the Smith County team. We got a lot of hits, and played better defense this time."

The next day, Tuesday, April 1, LA fooled Cannon County into a 4-3 loss at Livingston City Park.

Things began a little slow for LA as they couldn't seem to get around the bases in the first three innings. Sarah Maynord got around the bases in the fourth inning to get Livingston started.

Both teams kicked it up a notch in the final inning, but the Lady Cats had the Bam! working for them and Cannon County didn't as LA outscored them 3-2 in the sixth to take a 4-3 victory.

Scoring runs for LA in that sixth inning were Aspen Allen, Ashley Johnson, and Stasha Babb.

Coach Johnson said, "Ashley Howard got her first victory of the season as pitcher, and we really played a lot better this time than last time. It was a really close game, but we just wouldn't give up and went on to get our first district win."

The Lady Wildcats played on their own home field against Jackson County on Thursday, April 3. This time LA blew ‘em out of the park with a 7-1 victory.

Once again, things started slowly for LA, as they were tied 1-1 with Jackson County going into the final inning. The bats flew out of the belfry in the last frame as LA scored 6 runs.

Runs were scored by Aspen Allen, Ashley Johnson, Bethany Greenwood, Ashley Howard, and Lisa Reeder. Andrea Borden scored two runs in the win.

Coach Johnson said, "It wasn't an easy one to win. We started off quietly, but came back in a loud way to win it. I'm really proud of the girls. They played well as a team."

The next day, Friday, April 4, LA had a rematch with the White County Warriorettes. Although the Lady Cats lost their first matchup with White County, they won it this time, 7-4.

Aspen Allen got around the bases in the first inning to put LA up 1-0; however, White County outscored LA 2-1 in the third inning to tie the score up at 3 apiece.

The Warriorettes scored a run in both inning numero cuatro and inning numero cinco, while LA scored 2 runs in the fifth, once again tying it up, this time at 4. LA got 2 runs in the sixth and 1 run in the seventh to take the big win, 7-4.

Scoring runs for Livingston were Aspen Allen with 2, Ashley Johnson, Althea Allred, Sarah Maynord, Bethany Greenwood, and Casey Emerton each with a single run.

"It was a very exciting game, and close the whole way," Coach Johnson said.

Following a game at DeKalb County on Tuesday, April 8 , the Lady Cats will come back home to play Upperman on Thursday, April 10, and Campbell County, on Friday, April 11. Following that run, the girls travel to Byrdstown on Tuesday, April 15 or, as many know it, tax day, to take on the Pickett County Lady Bobcats.

Coach Johnson said of the upcoming games, "We're doing pretty well and if we play like we have been playing, then we'll win some more ball games."

 

LA Tennis captures Tigers and road wins

By KEVIN BURMEISTER, OCN staff

With a tough road to the district tournament creeping into view, the Livingston Academy tennis teams continued to power through much of the opposition during last week's schedule.

Thursday, April 4 brought a second breed of intense matches between LA and the mostly fearsome Celina Bulldogs.

The Cats, however, displayed the higher winning capacity in the girls matches, with Big Blue fiercely directing the Lady Bulldogs to the Celina pound. LA claimed all but one of the day's contests, with Wrenda Curd leading the charge, with an 8-0 blanking. Rachel Barlow finished off her opponent in a 7-2 tie-break victory, while Brooke Ledbetter dominated in an 8-1 set. Her sister, Dana, fell victim to Livingston's only defeat, a 4-8 nixing by one of Celina's premier players.

In doubles, Curd and Barlow were effective with an 8-4 set win, while the Ledbetter sisters flattened their volley partners, carving up an 8-0 shutout.

Phillip Murphy followed the girls' lead by authoring an 8-0 Wildcats win, but his fellow fellows failed to follow his lead, finishing off LA's fruitful day.

On Friday, April 5, the Cats traveled to Smithville to take on an inter-genus rival in the DeKalb County Tigers. Both LA teams came out especially competitive, with the girls team squashing the DeKalb offerings in the shape of a 7-1 Wildcat victory.

Dana Ledbetter squeezed by in an 8-6 tie-break victory, with Curd and Barlow taking set wins home to adoring kinfolk, winning their sets 8-4 and 8-6 respectively. Ronance Jackson climbed into the fourth slot for Livingston and didn't disappoint, winning her set by an 8-5 count.

In doubles play, Curd and Barlow delivered an 8-2 victory, while Ledbetter and Jackson served up a 6-1 set win.

Coach Rick Moles was forced to replace Brooke Ledbetter with Jackson, as the talented sophomore's absence prevented the familiar Ledbetter/Ledbetter doubles pair. He believes that Jackson could challenge the younger Ledbetter for the fourth position, as well as the spot beside Dana Ledbetter in doubles play.

"I think there is probably a position there, if Ronance wants to challenge Brooke," he said. "She's playing well, and if she challenges her and beats her out for that position, she may be playing doubles. We'll have to wait and see, that's down the road."

In parting with traditional preconceptions, the Wildcat boys served up some bona fide competition for the Tigers, as they narrowly captured a rare overall victory. Rex Dale led the Cats with an 8-5 set win, followed by Daniel Sweeney's 8-6 victory. Dereck Neal provided a winning 6-3 set, while David McDarby helped seal a successful Wildcats outing with his 6-4 win.

In doubles play, Dale and Andy Sathern captured a slim 8-5 victory, giving the Cats the edge necessary for the 5-4 win.

"They played well together, so I'm going to let them play like that for a while and see how things work out," Moles said of his new Sathern/Dale pairs combination.

Moles believed that this win was an important factor in determining the successes of future boys matches.

"When they get comfortable with each other, I think they will (elevate their play)," he said.

This week, Livingston traveled to Lebanon to take on Friendship Christian Academy on Monday, April 7. The remainder of the week features a Livingston Academy hosted rematch against DeKalb County on Wednesday, April 9, followed by a trip to Van Buren County the following day, and a Monday, April 14 match against Macon County at home.

Leading all girls teams in District 7-AA with a spotless 7-0 record, Friendship Christian should prove to be Livingston's primary competition in the looming district tournament. Moles' squad sports a 6-1 record, and needed a solid performance Monday in order to claim a tie for the district lead.

"There's a lot riding on it," he said before the matches. "We need to win it."

 

 

 

Overton County News
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