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Archives 03-23-2005

Sports

 

Cats win some, lose some in first week of season
Lady Cats open season with three wins, loss
LA Tennis Teams bring experience to 2005

 

 

Cats win some, lose some in first week of season

Dewain E. Peek/OCN staff
LA junior Tyler Thrasher started the Monday, March 14 game against Monterey, which was ultimately won by the visiting Wildcats instead of the Livingston Academy variety.

By DEWAIN E. PEEK, OCN Sports
To err is human, but errors in baseball are unforgiving. Errors cost the Livingston Academy Wildcats greatly in their first outing, a 4-5 home loss to Monterey on Monday, March 14.

LA Coach Pat Swallows said, "I don't want to take anything away from Monterey. They did a good job. They beat us. They deserve everything they got.

"Coach (John) Looper certainly does a great job up there and did a better job of getting his guys prepared to play on the first day than I did, because we just did not play the way we are capable of playing.

"We made too many mistakes. We got tight when we got behind and started pressing, and just didn't do the little things that it takes.

"When you give up 4 hits and strike out 10, you should win."

Second base alone cost LA three runners in the game, two were thrown out at second and one was picked off at the number 2 bag.

Tyler Thrasher started the game, but ended up with a "no decision".

"Thrasher pitched a good enough game to win," Coach Swallows said. "He only gave up 3 hits, and struck out 6.

"But we made 6 errors and left 6 on. We just don't win when we play like that."

Shane Livingston ended up as the losing pitcher.

"He came in and threw an inning and struck out the side," Coach Swallows said. "In the top of the seventh, he gave up a bang-bang single on a ground ball to short. The kid had good speed and beat it out. Then we made an error, again. So that put runners on first and second.

"So, I brought Cody in. He walked the first batter to load the bases. Then he struck out a batter. Then we made another error that allowed them to score the go-ahead run. We were tied 4-4 and they went up 5-4 right then."

Offensively, Tyler Thrasher went 1 for 3 with a run batted in, Cody Sells went 2 for 2 with an RBI, John Ward went 1 for 3 with an RBI, and Andrew Dixon got a hit.

Dixon scored a run, Brian Colson scored a run, and pinch-runner Joe Reynolds scored twice.

The following day's scheduled game at Carthage against Smith County was rained out and rescheduled for Wednesday, March 30.

The Wildcats travelled to Lebanon on Thursday, March 17 to play in the Friendship Christian Tournament. The host team was the first opponent for LA.

"We played Friendship, which is probably the best team we have played in all the pre-season and so far," Coach Swallows said. "They are a very, very good solid team. We beat them 7-5."

Cody Sells got the win on the mound for Livingston.

"Cody did a great job," Coach Swallows said. "He went the whole 7 innings, gave up 5 runs on 6 hits, struck out 12."

The Cats had 8 hits in the win. Tyler Thrasher went 2 for 4 with 2 runs batted in, John Ward went 2 for 3 with 2 RBI, Chris Nelson went 1 for 2 with an RBI, and Jon Maynard went 1 for 1 with an RBI.

"The key to the whole game was that we did not make one error," Coach Swallows said. "When you do that against a solid club, a very good club, you've got a chance to win. That was a big, big boost for us. That showed them that we can play against some quality people if they will just cut the mistakes out and not do those silly things."

The second game of the evening for LA was erased by darkness when the lights went out. After waiting in the freezing cold for an hour and 45 minutes, the game against Gallatin, which had just entered the fourth inning, was called "no contest".

The next night, the Cats took on the Eagles of Ezell-Harding Christian School and won 4-2.

"Shane Livingston threw a great game against Ezell," Coach Swallows said.

In 6 and 2/3 innings, he gave up 2 runs on 6 hits and struck out 10.

"Even though we didn't play the best defensive game - we made 3 errors - we still got some big hits when we needed to," Coach Swallows said. "Tyler Thrasher hit a 3-run bomb in the third, and Jon Maynard was 1 for 2 with another RBI."

Chris Nelson and Cody Sells also had a hit each for LA.

"Ezell-Harding is a solid club, a private school in Nashville. So, we were real happy about the way we played against them."

The next day, Livingston Academy was matched against Centennial High School, a Class AAA school in Franklin.

"We played well for three innings," Coach Swallows said.

Then the wheels fell off as a walk, an error, then back-to-back doubles off Tyler Thrasher made a 2-1 Cougars lead grow to 6-1. Coach Swallows decided the team needed freshening up, so he put in the "Not Ready for Prime Time" players to get some experience.

"We had played four games already in the tournament," Coach Swallows said. "I wanted to get some of the younger guys in."

LA gave up 10 runs in the fifth inning en route to a 2-16 loss.

Tyler Thrasher hit another home run in the game as he went 2 for 2. "His bat is hot right now," Coach Swallows said.

Andrew Dixon, Cody Sells, and Chris Nelson each singled in the game, and in the bottom of the fifth, new entries Mark Barnett, Joe Reynolds, and Josh Coffman all had singles.

"We got 3 hits in the fifth and scored a run with the young guys," Coach Swallows said, finding a bright spot in a dark game.

After a scheduled game at White County on Tuesday, March 22, Livingston Academy will open District 7-AA play at home against the powerful Upperman Bees on Thursday, March 24. The Wildcats will then play in the Brentwood Academy Tournament on Friday and Saturday, March 25 and 26.

Livingston Academy will host Cannon County in another district game on Monday, March 28, then travel to Lafayette to play Macon County the following day.

"We've got to get our bats going a little bit, cut down on the critical mistakes," Coach Swallows said. "Our pitching's done well enough to be 4-0, but we're not."

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Lady Cats open season with three wins, loss

Dewain E. Peek/OCN staff
LA catcher Stasha Babb drives in a run in the first game of a double-header against Monterey on Thursday, March 17. Livingston won the game 2-1, and Babb went 3 for 3.

By DEWAIN E. PEEK, OCN Sports
Livingston Academy's Lady Wildcats opened the season with a 13-3 win over Clay County on Monday, March 14 with an unusual pitching corps.

Coach Mike Johnson did not use senior starting pitchers Ashley Howard or Tara Taylor, but instead relied on a senior new to the starting role and a sophomore new to the LA mound.

Everyday catcher Stasha Babb left the "tools of ignorance" (catcher's gear) for another to wear while she faced the Lady Bulldogs from the middle of the infield.

"That was the first time she'd ever pitched in a high school game, if I recall correctly," Coach Johnson said.

She gave up a single run in 3 innings pitched.

"Then I put Katie Vaughn in the game," Coach Johnson said. "It was her first time pitching in a varsity game."

She pitched 2 innings and gave up 2 runs.

Livingston's 13 runs were scored by 9 different players.

"A lot of walks were given up by that team," Coach Johnson said. "Their main pitcher got sick or something right before the game, so they put someone else in, and she didn't do so well.

"She walked a bunch of players and hit two or three of them. So, we got on base a lot. They had a lot of wild pitches.

"We got around the bases pretty easily. We could have made it a lot worse than what it was.

"I put a lot of younger players in and let them get a little experience. It was a pretty easy win for us."

Lisa Reeder and Ashley McDonald each hit triples in the game for LA. Andrea Borden hit a single, Megan Harris had a double, and Liz Hall was the only player with 2 hits, both singles.

"Everybody else walked or got hit by a pitch. Four players got hit by pitches. She was pretty wild," Coach Johnson said of Clay County's replacement pitcher.

The next day LA hosted Red Boiling Springs and won 18-7.

Ashley Howard pitched all 5 innings of the 10 run-rule shortened game. Howard gave up 7 runs and 9 hits, and struck out 6 batters.

"She pitched pretty well in that game," Coach Johnson said. "We had a few fielding mistakes that cost us a few more runs than it should have. RBS hit the ball a little bit, but not enough to score 7 runs. We made a couple of really bad fielding errors that let them score when they shouldn't have."

The Lady Cats capitalized on 14 walks in the game.

"They had two different pitchers, and the one that pitched the most was a little bit wild," Coach Johnson said. "She gave up a lot of walks."

Jessica McDonald had 3 hits in the game for LA, including 2 doubles. Ashley Howard had 2 hits, including a double, Andrea Borden hit a double, and Brittany McDonald hit 2 singles.

"We hit the ball pretty well against that team, when the ball was thrown down the middle," Coach Johnson said. "There were a lot of walks and we got on base a lot again in this game, and moved around the bases when they had wild pitches, and scored pretty much at will. In three different innings we scored 5 or more runs."

The Lady Cats played better than expected against RBS.

"We had played them earlier in a scrimmage game and beat them 2-1, so we improved a little bit," Coach Johnson said.

Livingston Academy hosted a double-header against Monterey on Thursday, March 17.

Tara Taylor pitched the opener and gave up a single run on 8 hits as LA won 2-1.

"Taylor pitched well," Coach Johnson said. "It was her first start of the season."

Stasha Babb went 3 for 3 and drove in a run. Tara Taylor and Ashley Howard scored the Lady Cats' runs.

"We played okay. It was good at times, then we made a couple of mistakes," Coach Johnson said. "I guess it was just early-season jitters or we just haven't got the rust off yet. That was what gave them the one run, fielding mistakes.

"Monterey is a pretty good team. They are probably the best team in Class 7-A this year. They've got a good pitcher, who was there last year. We played against her last year, and she was good then, and she's even better this year.

"She wasn't a dominating pitcher, but she could throw strikes. We didn't hit as well as I thought we could.

"But we won that game, so I can't complain. I would have liked to have won it by more than a single run scored in the last inning."

The second game of the double-header saw a severe reversal of fortune for Livingston's Lady Wildcats as the visiting Monterey Lady Wildcats won 11-3.

Coach Johnson used three pitchers in the losing effort.

Ashley Howard started the game for LA, and pitched two innings. Stasha Babb was brought in and pitched another couple of innings before sophomore Kaylie Wilson was brought in to finish the game.

"It was Kaylie's first appearance with the team," Coach Johnson said.

"We gave up 11 runs and a lot of hits, 16 hits total. For some reason, they just came alive against our other pitchers. They just started pounding the ball against us. They were hitting it everywhere, hitting it where we weren't. We just couldn't do anything against them in that game.

"We only scored 3 runs. We just couldn't hit the ball at all in that game for some reason. We didn't have any hard hits, just dinky rollers or little pop-ups to the first or second baseman. We just couldn't get around on the ball until the last two innings.

"The last two hits of the game were just shots to the outfield. Where that was at the first couple of innings I don't know. We just didn't play as well in the second game."

Andrea Borden, Brittany McDonald, and Ashley McDonald each scored a run for LA.

Ashley Howard had 2 hits, Andrea Borden had 2 hits, including a double, and Lisa Reeder had 2 hits, including a double.

"They've got a good coach," Johnson said of the Monterey team.

"They did some things that we haven't seen before this year, trying to run the bases differently and trying to get us to throw the ball around some. "They did some things differently that we're going to try to work on ourselves and emulate some of that. It seemed to mess us up a little bit. It was good aggressive baserunning."

Coach Johnson hopes the Lady Cats can continue winning when they move into play against Class AA schools this week.

"I'm happy we won three games, but unhappy we lost one, of course, always unhappy to lose a game. We start district games this week. We've got to play better than we've played to be able to beat teams like York and Smith County."

After travelling to Celina to play Clay County again on Monday, March 21 and hosting York Institute on Tuesday, March 22, Livingston Academy will host Smith County on Thursday, March 24.

The Lady Wildcats are scheduled to play in the MTSCA Classic at Murfreesboro on Friday and Saturday, March 25 and 26, then LA will host Cannon County on Tuesday, March 29 in another District 7-AA contest.

"I think we are capable of playing better," Coach Johnson said. "We just have to get together as a team and be a little more aggressive at the plate and running the bases, and not make the mistakes in the field like letting the ball go between your legs, misjudging the ball, or throwing it over the person's head.

"We've made some typical mistakes that all teams make. If we can correct them, we can play a lot better and win more games. We can beat the teams in our district if we just play well."

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LA Tennis Teams bring experience to 2005

Graham Studios photo
Members of the 2005 Livingston Academy Tennis Teams are, kneeling from left, Andy Sathern, David Johnson, Brad Ledbetter, David McDarby, Randy Boswell, Jeremiah Jackson, standing, Becca Ramsey, Rhiannon Voss, Ashley Taylor, Leah Thomas, Brooke Ledbetter, Amber Carmack, Chelsea Sevier, Danielle Ray, and Lacy Carmack. Not pictured is Dereck Neal.

By LEAH THOMAS, OCN Sports
The Livingston Academy Girls Tennis Team will start off the 2005 season with five players returning, and a loss of four seniors from last year.

Livingston Academy Tennis Coach Scott Cole said, "It's going to be difficult because of the leadership lost, but we have enough experienced players to still be competitive."

The LA girls are seniors Brooke Ledbetter and Amber Carmack, junior Leah Thomas, sophomores Lacy Carmack and Danielle Ray, and freshmen Ashley Taylor, Chelsea Sevier, and Rhiannon Voss.

The Livingston Academy Boys Tennis Team will have four players returning, with the loss of one senior from last year.

Coach Cole said, "For the boys, losing the top player will hurt, but we still have a pretty balanced team."

The LA boys are senior Dereck Neal, juniors Andy Sathern, David Johnson, Brad Ledbetter, and David McDarby, and sophomore Randy Boswell.

After opening the season Monday, March 21 against Cannon County and hosting DeKalb County on Tuesday, March 22, the Livingston Academy Tennis Teams will travel to Lafayette to play Macon County today, Wednesday, March 23, then will return home to play Macon County again on Monday, March 28.

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