Cats clinch season title
Cats end April tied for 1st in soccer
Lady Cats win over Cannon County
Cats clinch season
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
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,
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
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,"
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
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
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
"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
"I think I got them fired up. They scored 5 runs in the sixth
The Lady Cats were not content with the 6-3 lead.
"In the seventh inning, we capped it off," Coach Johnson
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
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
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
"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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