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Archives 05-11-2005

Sports

 


Cats clinch season title

Lady Cats finish season 4th in district
Lady Cats win over Cannon County
Wildcats Soccer heads into tourney

 

Cats clinch season title

MaryJane Young/OCN staff
Tyler Thrasher pitched Livingston Academy to a win over Cannon County in the Cats' tournament game Saturday.

By DEWAIN E. PEEK, OCN Sports
The Livingston Academy Wildcats will have a shot at their second goal of the 2005 season when they play for the District 7-AA Tournament championship on their home field at 5 p.m. today, Wednesday, May 11.

LA won their way into the championship game with an 8-5 victory over DeKalb County on Monday, May 9.

LA Baseball Coach Pat Swallows said, "It was a total team effort. We got timely hits and big defensive plays. It was a great team effort, and I am proud of them."

Cody Sells was the winning pitcher for LA.

"He did a great job," Coach Swallows said.

The Wildcats opened the District 7-AA Tournament, played at Livingston Academy, on Saturday, May 7 against Cannon County, a team that has given the Cats trouble this season.

The Cats started hot with 3 runs in the first inning.

"The first run, Jimmy Davidson walked, (Andrew) Dixon hit a sacrifice bunt, and Jimmy went from first to third," Coach Swallows said. "Then we hit a sac fly. So, we scored a run without the benefit of a hit.

"Then Colson doubled, and Jon Ward hit a 2-run shot."

LA added another run in the second inning to lead 4-0.

The Lions cut the lead in half in the top of the third, but LA responded with another run in the bottom half to go up 5-2.

The next two innings were scoreless, then Cannon County plated a run in the top of the sixth inning.

In the LA half, the Cats brought home 3 more runs to lead 8-3. A couple of those runs were scored when Jimmy Davidson hit his first home run, a 2-run blast.

"We played very well through six," Coach Swallows said. "Tyler Thrasher was on the mound and had done a great job.

"But in the seventh, he got a little tired and left a pitch up and they hit a home run. We made 3 errors in the seventh."

The Lions went on the attack in that seventh inning and scored 3 runs before being gunned down at the plate for a 7-8 loss.

"They hit a ball to (Brian) Colson at first, a hard hit ball that kicked off his glove and went to right field. Jon (Maynard) picked it up and threw the runner out going home, what would have been the tying run.

"You have to give Cannon credit that they didn't quit.

"It was pretty exciting, but it should never have been that close. We just can't do stuff like that. We've got to close it out when we need to.

"It was still a big win for us in the first round of the district. We were happy to get out of there with a win."

Tyler Thrasher was the winning pitcher for LA, giving up 7 runs, only 3 earned, on 7 hits, while striking out 6.

"He had a good game," Coach Swallows said. "He did a good job."

Brian Colson had 4 hits - a single, 2 doubles, and a triple. John Ward had 3 hits, including the home run. Davidson, Thrasher, and Chris Nelson all had 2 hits each, and Dixon and Tyler Livingston each had a hit.

Before the tournament, LA had two district games to close out the regular season, one at Jackson County on Tuesday, May 3, and the season-closer on Wednesday, May 4 against York Institute.

After the Cats clinched the season championship on Monday, May 3, Coach Swallows was concerned about a letdown against Jackson County.

"My fears were certainly realized, because we did not play well at all," he said. "We had only 6 hits. We hit the ball hard, but we hit it right at them"

LA lost 3-4 in 8 innings.

"We had every opportunity to win," Coach Swallows said. "We made only 2 errors, but they were very critical errors that really cost us. We balked a run home in the bottom of the eighth. We didn't play our best game.

"Jackson County played well and made a bunch of plays, and did a good job in beating us."

Tyler Thrasher was tagged with the loss on the mound, but Cody Sells, who was brought in to relieve Thrasher, balked in the winning run.

"That was a game we let get away from us," Coach Swallows said.

The following night, LA took on the York Dragons.

"I was again concerned how we would handle it, since we played so poorly on Tuesday night," Coach Swallows said, "but we responded and played very well."

That was an understatement. The Cats had 12 hits in the game and pounded the Dragons into submission 14-4.

Shane Livingston was the winning pitcher, going the distance. He gave up 4 runs on 4 hits, and struck out 3.

Brian Colson hit a home run, his 27th career homer, which broke Bubbie Buzachero's record for career home runs at LA. Colson had 2 hits in the game.

Cody Sells had 2 hits, including a home run. Jimmy Davidson had 3 hits, Tyler Thrasher had 2 hits, and Johnny Cyrus and Jon Maynard had a hit each.

The regular season ended that night with LA sitting at 15-10 overall, 9-3 in District 7-AA.

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Lady Cats finish season 4th in district

By DEWAIN E. PEEK, OCN Sports
Livingston Academy entered last week's high school softball play with a shot at ending the regular season in 2nd place, but the best laid plans of mice and Lady Wildcats sometimes go awry.

LA Softball Coach Mike Johnson said, "We had 6 games this week. To assure ourselves of 3rd place, we had to win 4; we won 3. So, we wound up tied for 3rd and lost the coin flip, making us 4th."

The Lady Cats faced a week with those 6 District 7-AA games in 3 nights against 4 different teams, and came up with a 3-3 split.

"We had four double-header nights this year and split all four of them."

The Lady Cats opened the week on Monday, May 2 at Baxter where they played an unusual double-header, Upperman in the first game, then Smith County in the second game.

LA was victorious over Upperman, 9-2. Tara Taylor was the winning pitcher, striking out 7 while giving up only 3 hits.

The Lady Cats cranked out 18 hits of their own.

Taylor helped her own cause by going 4 for 4 at bat, and scored a run.

Ashley McDonald went 3 for 4, scored 2 runs, and drove in 2 runs, Lisa Reeder went 3 for 4 and scored 3 runs, Stasha Babb went 3 for 5 with 2 RBI, and Andrea Borden went 2 for 4 with 2 RBI.

Brittany McDonald, Jessica Lee, and Jessica McDonald each scored a run.

"We did well that game," Coach Johnson said. "A lot of girls got on base. We did a lot of things right in that game."

In the nightcap, the Owlettes shutout LA 7-0.

"We only managed 4 hits in that game," Coach Johnson said, "and Borden had 2 of them."

Jessica McDonald and Kirstie Dillon accounted for the other hits.

LA pitcher Ashley Howard had a tough night against District 7-AA's undefeated season champions, giving up 14 hits.

"The third pitch of the game, the first batter hit a home run. That started it off pretty bad for us," Coach Johnson said. "It was 1-0 for three innings, then in the fourth they broke it open and batted around on us. They had 6 hits and 5 runs in one inning and pretty much put it away."

Not only was the Smith County offense powerful, the pitching proved to be equally baffling.

"We just couldn't hit this girl," Coach Johnson said. "Their pitcher has really improved. This was the second time we've seen her and she was almost twice as fast.

"Smith County is a good team."

The following evening, the Lady Wildcats travelled to Gainesboro to play the Lady Blue Devils in the second double-header of the week.

"For the first time that I know of against a district opponent," Coach Johnson said, "a Livingston pitcher pitched a no-hitter."

Tara Taylor pitched a no-hitter for LA, facing only 17 batters in the 5-inning game, and striking out 7 of them. Two Lady Blue Devils reached base in the game, the result of an error and a walk.

"Just a dominant performance by her," Coach Johnson commented.

LA won 3-0, with Stasha Babb scoring 2 and Jessica Lee bringing home the other.

Jessica McDonald went 2 for 3 with 2 RBI, Stasha Babb went 2 for 3, Jessica Lee went 1 for 2 and drove in a run, and Kirstie Dillon went 2 for 2.

The second game saw Coach Johnson go against convention.

"I did something I hadn't done all year, and that was not switch the senior pitchers around," he said. "I let Taylor keep pitching because I knew she had a good performance. I thought she was doing so well that I might as well leave her in there and let her finish it out.

"And the second game, my mistake, we lost that game 2-3."

Taylor was touched for 8 hits while allowing the 3 runs.

"I was a little too stubborn," Coach Johnson said. "She kept getting out of trouble. She would get into trouble and she would get out of it.

"A run scored and the bases were loaded in the first inning, with one out, and she struck two batters out straight.

"They hit the ball that game, they came alive and hit the ball. We didn't. It was the same pitcher for them, and we just got worse."

Jessica Lee and Kirstie Dillon scored LA's only runs.

Brittany McDonald, Stasha Babb, Jessica Lee, Jessica McDonald, Tara Taylor, and Kirstie Dillon each had a hit.

"We just couldn't put them together," Coach Johnson said.

The Lady Cats returned home for a double-header against DeKalb County on Thursday, May 5.

"If we had won both of those games, we would have been guaranteed 3rd place, but we split," Coach Johnson said.

Rain came down in the first game of LA's senior night, and the Lady Cats' bats were ineffective in the 0-1 loss.

Livingston Academy managed 3 hits, with 2 of them off the bat of Brittany McDonald, and the other from Lisa Reeder.

"We were caught stealing twice in that game, and that just killed us," Coach Johnson said. "We didn't have many baserun-ners to begin with. Both times we were that close to making it, but they made perfect throws."

The Lady Wildcats also had a web gem in the game. In the third inning, Brittany McDonald made a double-play by catching a fly ball for an out in center field, then throwing home to gun down a Lady Tiger at the plate.

"That was against their best player," Coach Johnson said.

Ashley Howard took the hard-luck loss, giving up only 2 hits and 4 walks, and striking out 5.

"She pitched great in that game," Coach Johnson said. "She pitched well enough to win that game.

"When you hold a team to one run, you've got a good chance to win it. But if you can't score, you can't win.

"We should have won the game, if we had just hit the ball."

The final game of the double-header was also the final game of the regular season. LA won 2-1.

Tara Taylor was the winning pitcher, giving up 4 hits.

Lisa Reeder and Ashley McDonald scored runs for the Lady Wildcats.

Ashley Howard went 2 for 3, and Lisa Reeder went 2 for 2, including a triple.

"An awesome shot," Coach Johnson said. "That ball came close to leaving the park. It was a good shot."

Brittany McDonald, Jessica McDonald, and Jessica Lee each had a hit.

"We tied for 3rd place in the district, which is the same spot we had last year, but we had it outright then," Coach Johnson said. "We had a coin flip and we lost."

Behind Smith County, York Institute placed 2nd, DeKalb 3rd, LA 4th, Jackson County 5th, Upperman 6th, and Cannon County 7th.

Livingston Academy was scheduled to start the double-elimination tournament on Monday, May 9 against Jackson County.

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LA Tennis Team competes in district match

By LEAH THOMAS, OCN Sports
The Livingston Academy Tennis Team competed in the Team Districts on Monday, May 2.

In the first round, the LA girls played Clay County High School. Representing Livingston Academy were Amber Carmack, Leah Thomas, Lacy Carmack, Danielle Ray, and Chelsea Sevier, who all won against Clay County.

The girls lost in the second round to Mt. Juliet Christian Academy. LA's Danielle Ray won her match against MJCA.

The LA boys also competed in Team Districts, facing DeKalb County in the first round.

Representing Livingston Academy were Andy Sathern, David Johnson, David McDarby, Randy Boswell, and Brad Ledbetter. The LA boys played hard, but couldn't get enough wins to move on. Andy Sathern won his match.

The LA Tennis Team was scheduled to compete in Individual Districts on Monday, May 9, at Tennessee Tech University.

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Wildcats Soccer heads into tourney

photo courtesy of Janie Byers
Livingston Academy senior soccer players honored during the 2005 Senior Night activities are, from left, Casey Ledbetter, Matt Anderson, Wesley Puckett, Graham Goodman, Westley Burnett, Alex Gunnels, Jacob Pennington, Andy Gunnels, Jeff Cummings, and Ben Jolley.

By BETH UNDERWOOD, OCN Sports
The Livingston Academy Wildcats soccer team shut out two more teams as they wound up regular season play, defeating Smith County 11-0 on Tuesday, May 3 and Boyd Christian 9-0 on Saturday, May 7.

In a season that has defined the meaning of team, two more players, Blake Vaughn and Cody Penticuff upped the ante, scoring their first goals of the season.

The final week of regular season play solidly places the team in first place in District 9 with a 12-3-3 record.

In what could be termed a stellar season, the team scored 67 goals while allowing only 11, and posting 9 shutouts.

The boys moved on to host the first round of district tournament play, as they faced Smith County in the tournament's first round on Monday, May 9. A win would pit the team against the winner of the Mount Juliet Christian Academy-York Institute game on Tuesday, May 10.

LA Soccer Coach Ethan King said, "It is what the boys have been preparing for all year. They couldn't wait for (tournament play) to start."

Capping off an impressive season, the team entered tournament play with the district's recently named MVP Wes Burnett, District Goalie of the Year Graham Goodman, and All-District First Team players Andy Gunnels, Alex Gunnels, Wes Puckett, and Jacob Pennington, while Ben Jolley and Jonathan McGill were named to the All-District Second Team.

"It's nice to see the boys' hard work recognized," King said.

 

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