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Archives 05-04-2005

Sports

 


Cats clinch season title

Cats end April tied for 1st in soccer
Lady Cats win over Cannon County

 

Cats clinch season title

Dewain E. Peek/OCN file photo
Cody Sells helped the Wildcats to two wins with both his bat and his arm in LA's season title clinching stretch run.

By DEWAIN E. PEEK, OCN Sports
One goal down.

The Livingston Academy Wildcats are the season champion of District 7-AA, taking the title outright in a 2-1 win at home over rival DeKalb County on Monday, May 2.

"It was a great, great high school baseball game," LA Baseball Coach Pat Swallows said.

An error in the first inning by pitcher Cody Sells led to a DeKalb County run that stood up until the bottom of the seventh inning.

With their backs to the wall and the season title on the line, the Wildcats fought back. Jon Maynard got on base with a single, then was moved over to second on a fielder's choice. Andrew Dixon hit a double to drive in Maynard and tie the game at 1-1.

Tyler Thrasher then hit a single to drive in Dixon with the winning run.

Sells allowed only 3 hits and the unearned run in the game, while striking out 6 Tigers.

Other than Sells' first inning gaff, the LA defense sparkled, with everyone except third baseman Dixon recording a putout in the game.

By winning the season championship, Livingston Academy will host the District 7-AA Tournament when it moves into double-elimination play. The single-elimination first round of the tournament will be played at the home of the higher seed on either Thursday or Saturday of this week, which was to be determined in a meeting Tuesday, May 3. As the top seed, LA receives a bye and will not play until the double-elimination begins on either Saturday, May 7 or on Monday, May 9.

Before the district clincher, the Wildcats travelled to Carthage to play Smith County's Owls.

"We won 7-0, and probably played one of our better games of the year, even after a long layoff with the seniors being gone, and the weather and so-forth," Coach Swallows said.

"It was just like we've talked to them all year long, if we don't make mistakes and put the ball in play and let them make mistakes, then we've got a good chance. And that's exactly what happened."

Cody Sells pitched the shutout for LA, allowing only 3 hits and striking out 13 Owls.

"Cody did a great job on the mound again," Coach Swallows said. "Any time we can get that kind of performance out of the pitching, then we've got a chance to be in the game."

The hitting was sparked by a 2-run homer off the bat of John Ward, who had 2 hits in the game.

"He's playing really well right now," Coach Swallows said.

Sells helped his own cause with 3 hits, including a home run.

Along with Ward, Brian Colson and Chris Nelson also had 2 hits in the game.

Jimmy Davidson, Andrew Dixon, Tyler Thrasher, Johnny Cyrus, and Tyler Livingston all hit singles.

"Everybody in the lineup got a hit," Coach Swallows said.

"You put all those things together, and do some of the little things we did -  bunting runners over and sacrifice flies and so-forth. It was just pretty special to just sit back and watch them play the way they are capable of playing."

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Cats end April tied for 1st in soccer

By BETH UNDERWOOD, OCN Sports
In some respects, the last week in April may not have been exactly what Coach Ethan King would have ordered. But all in all, the LA Wildcats soccer team came out right where they wanted to be - tied for 1st place.

The boys team began the soccer week on Monday, April 25 with a stinging 6-0 rout over Jackson County, whose soccer team is new to the league this year.

Lead scorer for the Hog-Eyes was Wes Burnett with 3 goals, followed by Wes Puckett, Alex Gunnels, and Jacob Pennington, who all scored a goal in the victory.

On Tuesday, April 26, the LA boys moved on to face Friendship Christian in a game whose outcome was at least somewhat controversial for Coach King.

"I was not impressed with the officiating in that game," King said.

With one goal apiece, Alex Gunnels, Wes Burnett, and Wes Puckett powered the LA team, which tied Friendship Christian School at the end of regulation.

"At least that did not cost us all of 1st place," King said.

Now tied for 1st place with the Friendship team, the Wildcats were scheduled to host Smith County on Tuesday, May 3 for senior night.

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Lady Cats win over Cannon County

By DEWAIN E. PEEK, OCN Sports
Rain washed out all but one of the Livingston Academy's softball games last week. The Lady Wildcats got in a District 7-AA game at Cannon County on Monday, April 25, and won big.

A big win did not look in the cards early on.

LA Softball Coach Mike Johnson said, "It was our first game back from the senior trip and it was also their first game back from their senior trip. We were both kind of rusty."

After three innings of play, neither team had crossed home plate. In the fourth inning, both teams scored a run.

"The first runner to score for Cannon scored on three straight errors," Coach Johnson said. "She reached base on an error, moved around the bases on an error, and got home on an error."

Cannon's Lady Lions broke through with 2 runs in the fifth inning to lead 3-1.

With only two innings to play, Coach Johnson tried to spark his team.

"I told them, ‘you'all've got to start hitting the ball and start playing a little better or we're going to lose this game,' and it would be the first time in a long time that we've lost to them.

"I think I got them fired up. They scored 5 runs in the sixth inning."

The Lady Cats were not content with the 6-3 lead.

"In the seventh inning, we capped it off," Coach Johnson said.

Stasha Babb hit an inside-the-park home run.

"She just knocked it past them and ran hard, and got all the way around," Coach Johnson said.

Babb's home run was the first homer of the season for Livingston Academy.

Then another LA run crossed the plate in the 8-3 win.

"We scored 7 runs in 2 innings to put the game away," a proud Coach Johnson said. "It was a good come-back for us.

"Cannon County was playing really well, and we just couldn't get the rust off.

"It took us a while to get back in the game, then we had two good innings and put them away. But we're just not hitting the ball well right now.

"We are scoring enough runs to win the game. We're doing enough to win, and, hopefully, we can continue doing that this week."

Ashley Howard was the winning pitcher for the Lady Wildcats, giving up 3 runs on 3 hits, while striking out 6.

Along with Stasha Babb's inside-the-park home run, LA hit 4 triples in the game. Hitting the triples were Ashley Howard, Jessica McDonald, Lisa Reeder, and Ashley McDonald.

Babb and Jessica McDonald each scored 2 runs in the game, and Kirstie Dillon, Andrea Borden, Lisa Reeder, and Ashley McDonald each scored a run.

The season's stretch run began this week with an unusual double-header at Upperman High School on Monday, May 2, where LA was scheduled to play both the host team and then Smith County. The Lady Wildcats then were scheduled to travel to Gainesboro on Tuesday, May 3 to play a double-header against Jackson County before hosting DeKalb County on Thursday, May 5 in yet another double-header.

Each game is critical to where the Lady Cats will be seeded in next week's District 7-AA Softball Tournament to be played on Livingston Academy's home field.

"I told them we've got to take each game one at a time. We can't look ahead of anybody because each game is as important as the other one," Coach Johnson said.

With LA and York in a virtual tie for 2nd place in the district heading into the week, Coach Johnson is optimistic of his team's chances.

"We're sitting okay," he said. "This week bears a lot on how it all folds out. If we play well this week, then we could be 2nd place. If we win every game, we are assured of the 2nd place seed in the district.

"I feel pretty good about it. We've played well this year. We have two senior pitchers. The district tournament is at home.

"So, I hope to see us do some damage in the district tournament."

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