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Archives 03-24-2004

Sports

 

 

 

Cats defeat Tigers for first district win
Soccer starts season with dual wins
Double-headers give Lady Cats three wins
LA tennis team get first wins of new season
LA track & field team ready for 2004

 

Cats defeat Tigers for first district win

By DEWAIN E. PEEK, OCN staff
A shaky start and a big district win marked the beginning of the 2004 baseball season for the Livingston Academy Wildcats.

LA Baseball Coach Pat Swallows said, "We did about what I expected the first week, being really inconsistent – playing well a couple of innings, then not playing well a couple of innings, and those innings ended up hurting us on Tuesday night against Macon."

The March 16 season opener against Macon County wasn't kind to the home team.

LA gave up 5 runs in the second inning.

"Brian Colson was on the mound. He hadn't thrown as much as our other pitchers because he has been in basketball," Coach Swallows said.

The rust showed as Colson gave up the 5 runs on 7 hits.

"He was leaving the ball up in the zone and it ended up hurting him," Coach Swallows said.

Colson had injury added to insult after giving up those runs.

"He got hurt when the ball came back and hit him on the thumb," Coach Swallows said. "It was cold that day and he rattled it again when he was at bat.

"So, we had to take him out. Johnny Cyrus came in and pitched two good innings."

The Wildcats clawed their way back to tie the game at 5.

"We played well to come back," Coach Swallows said. "With two outs, we scored 5 times, got some big hits. But we just couldn't hold it."

Macon struck for 7 runs in the fourth inning, sealing a 12-5 win.

Livingston Academy hosted DeKalb County the following day in a District 7-AA game.

"We played really well," Coach Swallows said.

"We played just super defense until the sixth. We made a couple of mistakes in the sixth that let them get back in the game."

Until that sixth inning bobble, the Wildcats had steadily built a 4-0 lead, scoring a run in the second inning, another in the third, and 2 runs in the fifth.

Cody Sells was on the mound and seemed to be on cruise control, until the sixth inning.

"I think he got tired, a little bit," Coach Swallows said.

That and a couple of fielding mistakes allowed the powerful DeKalb County Tigers an opportunity to score runs, and they proceeded to put 3 on the board before Sells and the Wildcats put a stop to it.

"Cody Sells threw more pitches than I wanted him to, but did a great job on the mound. He didn't want to come out, so I turned it over to him and let him finish it for us," Coach Swallows said.

Sells struck out 10 Tigers in the game and allowed only 3 walks.

"We made three errors behind him, and two of them back-to-back in the sixth that let them get back in the game," Coach Swallows said. "Overall, defensively, with the exception of that one inning, we played pretty well."

The Cats didn't play too shabbily on offense either.

"Tyler Thrasher is continuing to hit the ball. He was 2 for 3," Coach Swallows said. "Cody King did a great job, with 2 outs he got 2 big hits on curve balls.

"And Cody Sells also helped himself with 2 hits and 2 RBIs."

Brian Colson had 2 hits, including a home run.

"That was big," Coach Swallows said of Colson's homer. "That got a little confidence going there in the second."

Going 1-1 in the first week was much easier to take with the win coming against a district opponent the caliber of DeKalb County.

"We were happy to play more consistent and get a big district win at home, which is big because they are one of the better teams," Coach Swallows said of DeKalb County's Tigers.

After playing Cumberland County at Crossville on Monday, March 22, and Upperman at Baxter on Tuesday, March 23, the Wildcats will travel to Woodbury on Thursday, March 25 to play the Cannon County Lions.

Livingston Academy will host Knoxville-Bearden at noon Friday, March 26.

The Cats will travel to Sparta on Saturday, March 27 to play the Warriors, then will travel to Carthage on Tuesday, March 30 to play the Smith County Owls.

 

Soccer starts season with dual wins

By LYNDON JOHNSON, OCN staff
The Livingston Academy Wildcats have started the 2004 soccer season off in good fashion, with two wins last week against tough district competition.

First was a game at Smith County on Monday, March 15, where the LA bunch fired in missiles right and left to take the victory in the Owls' nest at 6-0.

Jacob Pennington handled the bulk of LA scoring, making the proverbial "hat trick" plus one with four goals to his credit for the duration of the game. Westley Burnett came up with two goals of his own to give the scoreboard its final tally.

Burnett recorded the only assist of the game for the Wildcats.

The Big Blue then loaded up the bus to head to Jamestown to play York Institute last Tuesday, March 16, where they won a hard-fought contest 3-1.

Alex Gunnels had two goals in the contest, with Burnett booting in another to give the Cats their three.

A foul committed inside the box by the LA squad resulted in York getting a penalty kick opportunity, which they made good on to score their only goal.

The Wildcats will head to Smyrna on Friday, March 26 and will be there until Sunday, March 28 to compete in a tournament where they will play larger, class-AAA teams such as Riverdale High School.

Coach Ethan King isn't too worried, and sounds sort of anxious to play the bigger teams.

"We are looking forward to the Smyrna tournament. It will be a good measuring stick to see what we need to work on for the rest of the season. We will  see some great competition and it will be a true challenge for our team."

\After play ends in Smyrna, Livingston will make up the game originally scheduled for March 18 at Wilson Central. Due to TSSAA basketball competition, the game was moved to Tuesday, March 30 at Wilson Central.

 

Double-headers give Lady Cats three wins

By DEWAIN E. PEEK, OCN staff
Three wins in two double-headers are a promising way to start a season, and Livingston Academy Lady Wildcats Softball Coach Mike Johnson is cautiously pleased.

"You know, 3-1 after one week, that's pretty good," he said.

In all four of the games played last week, the Lady Cats made a late run to either win the game or pull close enough to make the other team sweat. That is a cause for concern for Coach Johnson.

"We've got to score early and often," he said.

He went on to say, "We've got to learn to hit the ball better. We've got to get more runs early, make it less nerve wracking for me and for them, too. If they get up early, the game's easier to play."

The 2004 softball season opened for the Lady Cats at Sparta where they took on the White County Warriorettes on Monday, March 15.

Livingston took the first game 5-4. LA scored a run on 2 hits in the second inning, then added another on 3 hits in the third, with a big shot being a triple by Whitney Walker.

Ashley Howard tripled in the fifth, but no one was on base.

In the sixth inning, the Lady Cats broke the game open with 3 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks.

Overall, LA had 12 hits in scoring the 5 runs.

Ashley Howard got the win on the mound for Livingston. She allowed 12 hits and 4 runs, while striking out 7 and giving up 7 walks.

"It was a good performance," Coach Johnson said. "We won the game and you can't beat that, starting off the first game of the year winning.

"I was impressed with the way Ashley pitched. She pitched great.

"The defense was good," he added.

As good as they were, Coach Johnson was still faced with a weakness in the team's play.

"We had 7 strikeouts also," he said. "I think that's a few too many. We need to attack the ball more."

The second game saw a pitcher change forced early when Ashley Howard took a "come-back" line drive off of her pitching hand in the first inning.

"She stayed in the game to pitch the second inning, but she wasn't the same. She gave up 6 runs in the first two innings on 9 hits.

"It hit her right on her thumb. I thought it might have fractured it, but she's okay."

Newcomer Tara Taylor was brought in.

"It was the first game she had ever pitched to more than just one or two batters. She did real well. I was real proud of her."

Taylor struck out 5 batters and gave up 3 runs on 3 hits, while giving up 6 walks.

The batting came on slow for the Lady Cats in the nightcap.

LA plated only a single run in the first four innings of the game, and was down 1-8 going into the fifth inning. The Lady Cats scored 2 runs in the fifth, but the home team responded with a run to keep LA at bay 3-9.

Livingston scored 5 two-out runs in the seventh inning, and placed runners at second and third.

"All we needed was one more hit to win the game," Coach Johnson said. "We just couldn't produce it."

Coach Johnson keeps the loss in perspective.

"We were one hit away from winning the game, so you can't complain too bad," he said. "I was real proud of the way they stayed in the game, battled back, and came close to winning it."

The Lady Wildcats travelled to Monterey on Thursday, March 18 to take on the Lady Wildcats of Monterey High School.

LA scored a run in the first inning, then waited until the last inning of the five-inning game to put 6 straight hits into play to score 3 runs and take a 4-1 win.

"When they get on a roll, they get on a big roll," Coach Johnson said. "They need to do that a little earlier."

Winning pitcher Ashley Howard gave up a run on 3 hits and struck out 3.

Whitney Walker scored 2 runs, and Andrea Borden and Lisa Reeder each scored a run.

Howard helped her own cause by going 2 for 3. Walker was 2 for 2.

In the second game, LA scored twice in the first inning, added 2 more runs in the third, and another in the fourth on the way to winning 5-1.

Ashley Howard struck out 3 and gave up a run on 5 hits.

Stasha Babb went 2 for 3, and six other Lady Wildcats had a hit.

Howard, Babb, Walker, Reeder, and Whittney Sells each scored a run.

"We played real well in both games, played real good defense," Coach Johnson said. "They hit the ball against us, put it in play a lot, but we got them out. Lisa Reeder had 7 putouts in the first game, and ended with 10 or 11. She had a bunch of putouts."

Whitney Walker has been perfect through the season's first games. She is 6 for 6 with 4 walks.

"She's gotten on base every time she's gone up to bat," Coach Johnson said.

For the most part though, the Lady Cats' weakness is the hitting, and Coach Johnson's team has gone to work on rectifying the situation.

"We learned we've got to work on our batting. That's what we've been doing all last week and this week. We're working on trying to hit the ball," he said. "You don't have to get a hit every time, but at least put the bat on the ball, put it in play. We are striking out too many times."

After playing at Red Boiling Springs on Monday, March 22 and at York Institute on Tuesday, March 23, the Lady Wildcats will travel to Carthage on Thursday, March 25 to take on Smith County's Owlettes, then travel to Byrdstown the following day to play a double-header against Pickett County's Lady Bobcats. LA will play Cannon County's Lady Lions at Woodbury on Tuesday, March 30.

Coach Johnson has confidence in his team's ability to put the pieces in place to win.

"I think we can beat pretty much anybody we go up against if we play well," he said. "We can compete in the district this year for top honors. We may not be the number one team, but we'll be right up there with them.

"All we need to do is play well, play hard, play together as a team, and I think we can do well."

 

LA tennis team get first wins of new season

BY MICHAEL SMITH OCN staff
Livingston Academy's tennis team came away with its first victory of the season last week.

On Monday, March 15, the team visited Macon County and saw the girls team win 6-2, while the boys team lost 4-1. Amber Carmack played tough at the 4 seed, winning 8-2.

The team played at Mt. Juliet Christian on Tuesday, March 16. The girls team came away with a 4-1 victory, with Dana Ledbetter and Rachel Barlow winning handily. The boys team suffered a close 4-3 loss, and David Johnson got his first win.

The Wildcats visited Clay County in Celina on Thursday, March 18. The girls team won, with a 3-0 win. The boys team won for the first time with a 4-3 victory. Daniel Sweeney remains undefeated, having to make a comeback in his match.

Coach Scott Cole was pleased with the week's results. "The girls stayed true to form, dominating," he said, "The guys should have two wins but were down a player, but they are surprising me with their progress."

Next week LA will play Cannon County on Monday, March 29, and on Tuesday, March 30, they will play Mt. Juliet Christian at home.

 

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LA track & field team ready for 2004

By MICHAEL SMITH, OCN staff
Livingston Academy's track & field team will begin its new season on Tuesday, March 30.

LA Track & Field Coach Merl Smith said, "Hopefully, we'll be able to get one or two people qualified for the sectional finals."

Fans of track & field should look for Heather Burchett in the shotput competition, Alison West in the 100 to 200 yard dash, and Andrea Maynard in hurdles competition, for the girls team.

The boys team also has its own share of talent. Mike Jones in short distance, Kalihib Lander in long jump, and Chris Looper in the 800 race, are all looking to be in good form by the start of the season.

 

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