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Archives 03-30-2005

Sports

 

Dozens of runs seal fate of Cats
Lady Cats take 6 of 10 in busy week
LA Tennis Team plays tough matches

 

 

Dozens of runs seal fate of Cats

By DEWAIN E. PEEK, OCN Sports
In all five games the Livingston Academy Wildcats baseball team played last week, 12 runs were scored by the victor. Unfortunately for the LA Cats, that bit of numerology worked in their favor only once.

That one time was the best time though.

Rain changed the venue for the District 7-AA game against Upperman from Livingston Academy to Baxter on Thursday, March 24. The loss of home-field advantage did not translate to a loss for the Cats, who proceeded to pound the Bees into submission in five innings.

LA outscored Upperman 12-0, the Bees' goose egg being ensured by Wildcats pitcher Cody Sells, who struck out 9 of the 14 batters he faced and allowed only a single hit in the shutout victory.

Wildcats Coach Pat Swallows said of his senior hurler, "Cody's throwing very well.

"It was a big district win for us. We were hitting the ball and making them make mistakes. They did make some mistakes that helped us out a lot."

Offensively for the Cats, Jimmy Davidson went 2 for 4 with 2 runs batted in, and scored 2 runs, and Andrew Dixon went 3 for 4, drove in a run, and scored a run. Cody Sells helped his own cause by going 2 for 2 and driving in a run. Chris Nelson went 2 for 3 with 2 RBI, John Ward went 2 for 3 with 2 RBI, Jon Maynard went 1 for 3 with 2 RBI, and Tyler Thrasher went 1 for 3 and batted in a run.

"We hadn't played since the last Saturday," Coach Swallows said, noting that the scheduled games against Clarkrange and White County had been rained out. "We'd been in the cage every day, not had a chance hit outside.

"Our defense was good until the fifth inning. We made a couple of mistakes in the fifth that put a bit of damper on a really good game. Overall, we played well."

The dozen run factor then got dirty at the Brentwood Academy Tournament played Friday and Saturday, March 25-26.

"We went to Brentwood on the weekend to face who we knew would be very good teams," Coach Swallows said. "We opened up with Rossview from Clarksville, a AAA team, and just absolutely fell apart.

"We made 7 errors. We left people on in critical situations, when we had a chance to be in the game. We dropped fly balls. We misplayed ground balls. We threw balls away. We just looked like we had never played a game of baseball all year."

Rossview High School won 12-1.

LA pitcher Brian Colson gave up 12 runs on 4 hits and hit 2 Rossview Hawks.

Chris Nelson went 2 for 2 for the Wildcats, and John Ward and Tyler Thrasher each had a hit. Johnny Cyrus scored the Cats' only run, getting on base on an error and scoring on an error.

The next game of the day saw Tyler Thrasher take the mound for the Wildcats and get tagged for 11 runs on 5 hits as LA went down to Brentwood.

"We ended up making 6 errors in that game, and Tyler hit 7 batters," Coach Swallows said, "and we got beat 12-1 again."

Brian Colson and Jon Maynard each had a hit, Colson's a double. After hitting the double, Colson stole third and came home on a fielder's choice for the Cats' only score.

"So Friday was not a real good day for Livingston Academy baseball, and it was all our doing," Coach Swallows said. "If we'd played solid baseball like we're capable of, then we could have been in the game.

"I don't mind getting beat if we play well, but I just can't stand to get beat when we absolutely give it away, and that's what we did."

The following day was not brighter.

"We played Columbia, who is probably as solid a team as I've seen in a long time," Coach Swallows said. "Again, we made 6 errors."

Columbia won 12-5.

Shane Livingston took the loss on the mound for LA, giving up 7 runs, only 2 earned, on 6 hits.

Brian Colson went 2 for 3, including a home run, and scored 2 runs. Chris Nelson went 2 for 3, and Jon Maynard, Johnny Cyrus, John Ward, Tyler Thrasher, and Jimmy Davidson all had a hit.

"In the three varsity games that we played, we made 19 errors and hit 9 or 10 people," Coach Swallows said, assessing the damage. "It was just one of those times when we couldn't do anything right."

On the positive side, Coach Swallows added, "We hit the ball a little bit, and played some decent defense at times."

Later in the afternoon, Coach Swallows gave the younger players field time against Davidson Academy.

"I played all the young guys who hadn't had a good chance to play all weekend," he said. "They played really well. We again made some silly mistakes and got beat 12-7."

After a rescheduled home game against Cannon County on Tuesday, March 29, the Wildcats will travel to Carthage to take on Smith County's Owls in a rescheduled District 7-AA game. Livingston Academy will host district opponent Jackson County the following day, then will host Wayne County, KY, on April Fool's Day before travelling to Hartsville to play Trousdale County on Saturday, April 2.

"Carthage is pretty solid," Coach Swallows said, looking ahead. "I don't know a lot about Jackson County, but they have beat some people already this year.

"We still feel like we are the team to beat in the district, but we've certainly got to prove it. We haven't done that as yet."

The LA Wildcats will travel to take on Monterey's Wildcats on Monday, April 4, then will go to Jamestown the following day to take on the York Institute Dragons in a District 7-AA matchup.

"York's not bad. York's pretty solid," Coach Swallows said of the perpetual rival, but did not overlook next week's first opponent.

"We've got to play well on Monday to beat Monterey. "We have confidence, but it's been shaken a little bit in that when we make a mistake, we start pressing a little bit, because we know we are better than that. That just leads to getting tight and making another mistake, and that leads into making another mistake.

"We've got to learn that things are not always going to go the way we want it to in life, but we can't let little things detour us, get us off of our focus."

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Lady Cats take 6 of 10 in busy week

Dewain E. Peek/OCN staff
Livingston Academy pitcher Ashley Howard throws from the ground to put out a Smith County Owlette on a ground ball in Thursday's home game against the Carthage team.

By DEWAIN E. PEEK, OCN Sports
Tired but confident, the Lady Wildcats finished a 10-game week of play that was capped by seven tournament games in two days.

LA Softball Coach Mike Johnson was pleased.

"We did pretty good for the week, played 10 total games and wound up going 6-4," he said.

The Lady Cats opened the long week on Monday, March 21 at Clay County High School with a 17-7 victory.

"Everybody got to play," Coach Johnson said of the overwhelming win.

The outrageous offensive output was spearheaded by Stasha Babb's 3 for 3 hitting, and Jessica Lee, Andrea Borden, Brittany McDonald, and Jessica McDonald, who all went 2 for 2.

"A lot of other girls had a hit," Coach Johnson said. "Lots of people scored runs, 13 different people scored runs."

Senior Ashley Howard started the game for the Lady Cats, pitching the first 2 innings before handing the ball over to sophomore Kaylie Wilson, who pitched the last 5 innings.

"Everybody got to play," Coach Johnson said. "I was happy about that."

The next day, Livingston Academy hosted District 7-AA rival York Institute in the Cats' first district game of the year. LA won a 3-2 nailbiter.

"You want to beat your rival," Coach Johnson said. "It was a really good game."

Tied 1-1 going in the 7th inning, York scored to lead 2-1. Then, in the bottom of the 7th, Brittany McDonald hit a single, then Tara Taylor hit a single, moving McDonald to third. Taylor then stole second.

"They were going to intentionally walk Jessica McDonald," Coach Johnson said. "On the 3-0 pitch, the pitcher missed her target and put it right down the middle, and Jessica cranked that ball and got a triple out of it, to the fence almost, and that was the game-winning hit, scored those 2 runs.

"We won 3-2 on what was supposed to be ball 4."

Taylor scored 2 runs in the game and was the winning pitcher, giving up 2 runs on 6 hits in a complete game performance.

"She used to play for York, for two years. That was kind of big for her to go in there and beat her old team, Coach Johnson said.

"The only game I give out game balls is York, if we win. I gave out two game balls. Jessica McDonald got one for the winning hit and Tara Taylor got one being the winning pitcher.

"It's fun to win a rivalry like that."

The win put LA at 1-0 in District 7-AA. The district record fell to 1-1 on Thursday, March 24 when LA hosted Smith County and lost 4-6 after leading late in the game.

"We played really well in the game," Coach Johnson said. "That's the best we've played against Smith County since I've been coaching here. They're down a little bit this year, but they're still a really good team.

"We had the first lead I've ever had against Smith County. We've improved a lot. We could play with them.

"I think we're as good as them now," he said. "We've just got to learn how to beat them. We played really well."

Ashley Howard pitched the entire game and took the hard luck loss after what seemed to be a 1-2-3 inning came apart on a "safe" call at first base. The team fell out of rhythm and allowed the go-ahead run to cross the plate in the inning.

Ashley Howard, Jessica Lee, Andrea Borden, and Brittany McDonald scored runs for LA. Jessica McDonald went 3 for 4, and Brittany McDonald went 2 for 4.

The Lady Wildcats then travelled to Murfreesboro to play in the Middle Tennessee Softball Coaches Association Tournament held Friday and Saturday, March 25-26.

First up for the Lady Cats were the mighty Page High School Lady Patriots, who bombed LA 12-2.

"Their first four batters were just awesome," Coach Johnson said. "They could just kill the ball. After the first four or five batters, they came down to our level in ability, but they did really well."

Ashley Howard and Andrea Borden scored LA's runs.

"That was the first of two games in our pool before we started the eliminations," Coach Johnson said.

Next up was Red Boiling Springs. LA won 5-0 with Ashley Howard on the mound and allowing only 6 scattered hits.

"We took our opportunities when they were there," Coach Johnson said of the Lady Cats' scoring.

Ashley Howard, Jessica Lee, Jessica McDonald, Brittany McDonald, and Ashley McDonald all scored runs in the game.

"That put us 3rd place in our pool," Coach Johnson said. "There were 12 teams in our division."

The elimination rounds began with a game against Springfield.

"This was a really exciting game," Coach Johnson said. "It was our third game of the day, and we won 1-0."

Tara Taylor scored the winning run, driven in by Ashley Howard in the next to last inning of the 6-inning time-limited game.

"It was a good pitching duel, and Tara Taylor got the shutout win. She pitched a 5-hitter.

"They weren't a great team, but they were as good as we were. We were tired and they were tired, too.

"So, we had two good games back-to-back, two shutouts back-to-back."

The last game of the day for LA was against Portland's Lady Panthers. The Lady Cats won the catfight 9-4.

"Portland scored 4 runs in the first inning and didn't score again," Coach Johnson said.

"We were down 4-1 and scored 8 straight runs in the fourth inning. We just finally found the groove there and got on that girl's pitching."

LA had 5 hits and 4 walks in the inning.

"That was a great comeback," Johnson said. "If we had lost that game, we would have had to be at Murfreesboro at 8:30 in the morning. Winning that game, we didn't play until 1:30 in the afternoon.

"So, we were playing for sleep basically."

Taylor pitched in the win.

The next afternoon, LA faced Page again, and lost 2-1.

"We played much better against them," Johnson said. "They didn't hit the ball as well.

"They faced Ashley Howard this time instead of Tara Taylor. I think the different pitcher threw them off a little bit. She threw a little bit more off-speed pitches compared to Taylor. We made better plays on defense, too."

Stasha Babb scored the Lady Cats' only run.

"We lost to Page twice in two days. We played them really close in the second game at least," Johnson said.

Still in the tournament, LA went up against White House and won 5-2.

"We really hit the ball well, but couldn't score many runs," Johnson said. "We had 15 hits in the game. We had runners on base in pretty much every inning, but only scored in three of the seven innings played.

"We scored enough to win, that's the main thing."

The White House Lady Blue Devils had an unorthodox approach to hitting that required the Lady Wildcats to be on their toes.

"This team liked to slap-bunt the ball," Johnson said. "They were really quick.

"We played against that really well except for one inning. They had the bases loaded and hit a little slap to the pitcher, and all she had to do was throw it home for the third out, and she just threw it by Stasha, threw it over her head. They scored 2 runs out of that. They didn't really threaten except for that inning.

"We played disciplined softball in that game."

Tara Taylor was the winning pitcher.

Now in the tournament's Final Four, Livingston Academy was put up against Westmoreland, a team that, unlike the Lady Cats, had been able to rest a while.

"It was the last game of the tournament for us," Coach Johnson said.

LA lost 3-6, giving Ashley Howard the loss on the mound.

Lisa Reeder scored 2 runs, and Ashley McDonald scored a run in the game.

"We were tired," Coach Johnson said. "This was our third straight game, seventh in two days. I think we just ran out of gas. "Westmoreland had a break before the game, we didn't. We were getting tired. We just didn't have the same intensity that we had earlier in the day and didn't play as well."

The tournament was a good experience and confidence-builder for the Lady Wildcats, according to Coach Johnson.

"We played well in the tournament," he said. 'That's the best we've done in a tournament, so we were pretty happy with our performance. We beat some teams we had never played before."

A schedule move early in the week leaves the Lady Wildcats with a rest period before heading back into more tournament play on Friday and Saturday, April 1-2 in the Golden Corral Invitational at Cookeville.

The Lady Wildcats will return home on Monday, April 4 to host Clinton County, KY, then will host District 7-AA foe Upperman the following day.

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LA Tennis Team plays tough matches

By Leah Thomas OCN Sports
The Livingston Academy Tennis Team played Macon County on Monday, March 21.

The night for the girls proved to be a tough one with one win, Danielle Ray with a score of 8-6.

LA Tennis Coach Scott Cole said, "The girls played okay against last year's district champs. They could have done better, but I wasn't displeased."

For the boys, the night also proved to be tough with one win, David McDarby with a score of 8-2.

Coach Cole said, "I'm proud of David McDarby for getting the win against last year's district champs."

The match that was scheduled against DeKalb County for Tuesday, March 22 was cancelled because of rain and will be rescheduled at a later date.

On Wednesday, March 23, the LA team travelled to Macon County. Despite the arctic weather conditions, the girls finished the match with a 4-3 win over Macon County.

In singles, Amber Carmack and Leah Thomas both finished with scores of 5-8. Lacy Carmack and Danielle Ray both had great games with final scores of 8-0. Freshman Chelsea Sevier won her first game of the season with a score of 8-6.

In doubles, Amber Carmack and Ray finished with a final score of 5-8. Thomas and Lacy Carmack won their game in a tie-breaker for a final score of 9-8.

Coach Cole said, "The girls didn't play well, but still managed to get the win, and the sophomores played really well."

For the boys, the freezing weather conditions didn't help any.

"We did play better than we did Monday against Cannon County overall," Coach Cole said.

After a home match on Monday, March 28, the LA Tennis Team will have three road matches: Van Buren County on Friday, April 1; Mt. Juliet Christian Academy on Monday, April 4; and DeKalb County on Tuesday, April 5.

 

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