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Archives 04-05-2006

Sports

Lady Cats endure tough week
Despite many errors, Cats win two games




Lady Cats endure tough week

Dewain E. Peek/OCN Sports
Kaylie Wilson fires a pitch in the Monday, March 27 game against York Institute.

By DEWAIN E. PEEK, OCN Sports
Four district losses in four games was the fate of the Livingston Academy Lady Wildcats last week. But Coach Mike Johnson still has an optimistic outlook concerning his young team.

"During the week, I did see some improvement in our games," he said.

The Lady Wildcats opened the week's play at home against York Institute's Lady Dragons on Monday, March 27.

"York's probably the best team in the district this year," Coach Johnson said. "They retained everyone that started last year. They didn't lose any starters. So, they are a pretty experienced team.

"They've got two really good pitchers. They're sisters, and are probably the best pitchers we will see all year.

"And it showed, because we had 21 at-bats and had 12 strikeouts. We had one walk and one hit, and that was it."

Kaylie Wilson walked for LA, and Liz Hall had the Lady Cats' lone hit.

"We didn't even get a runner to second base," Coach Johnson said. "We tried."

Jessica Conatser was thrown out attempting to take second base.

"We just couldn't produce anything offensively, so there was no way we could win the game," Coach Johnson said.

LA lost the District 7-AA contest 0-4.

Kaylie Wilson pitched all 7 innings, striking out 6 and walking 4. York had 10 hits in the game.

The following day, Livingston Academy played host to Smith County's Owlettes, and lost 3-10.

"We scored all 3 runs in the first two innings," Coach Johnson said. "We gave up 6 runs in the first two innings.

"We played pretty good defense after the first couple of innings."

Katie Vaughn pitched the full 7 innings. She struck out 6 and walked 6, and hit a batter.

"They've got a really athletic team," Coach Johnson said of the visiting team. "They play fast-pitch from the ground up there. They are used to hitting the fast-pitch ball.

"We hit the ball a lot better. We had 13 hits, but we had 10 strikouts. We hit the ball well, but we couldn't produce runs when we needed to."

Scoring for LA came from Lisa Reeder, Kirstie Dillon, and Kayla Ferrell.

Dillon went 4 for 4, with 3 singles and a double.

"I was real happy with her performance in that game," Coach Johnson said.

Kayla Ferrell went 2 for 3, with a single, a double, and a walk; and Liz Hall went 2 for 4, with 2 singles.

"We played better in that game than we did against York."

The Lady Wildcats hit the road to Smithville on Thursday, March 30 for a double-header against DeKalb County's Lady Tigers.

In the opening 5-inning game, LA fell 0-4.

The opposing pitcher faced 16 LA batters, one more than the minimum for a 5-inning game.

The game was 0-0 for three innings, then DeKalb scored a run to take a 1-0 lead into the final inning.

"We were in the game until the very last inning," Coach Johnson said. "We played well enough to win it for four of the five innings, but just couldn't muster anything offensively.

"Three of their runs came in the last inning."

LA struck out 6 of the 16 at-bats, and had only 2 hits in the game, off the bats of Liz Hall and Ashley Mitchell.

"Kaylie Wilson pitched pretty well," Coach Johnson said.

She struck out 3, walked 2, and gave up 5 hits.

"We couldn't score," Coach Johnson said.

The nightcap went to extra innings and a tie-breaker before being decided.

"We played extremely well," Coach Johnson said. "I kept the same exact lineup, and we played much better."

Neither team scored through the regulation innings, and no one scored until the seventh inning when LA went up 1-0, but DeKalb answered with a run in the bottom of the inning to force a tie-break.

"We had a lot of chances in that game to score, but we didn't score until the seventh inning," Coach Johnson said.

In a tie-breaker, the last person out in the previous inning is placed on second base.

"So, you've got a runner at second with no outs so you've got a good chance to score," Coach Johnson said. "When that happens, you basically go into bunt mode. You bunt her to third and then try to drive her in.

"We couldn't bunt. We couldn't get a bunt down. We couldn't move the runner over, but they did."

DeKalb moved their runner over and brought her in to win 2-1.

"It's a heartbreaking way to lose a game," Coach Johnson said.

Kaylie Wilson pitched all 8 innings, struck out 1, gave up 2 walks and 9 hits.

Ashley Mitchell had 2 hits and a run batted in for LA, and Lisa Reeder had a hit.

"Pitching and catching got a lot better Thursday, and hopefully it will carry over," Coach Johnson said.

"We're getting better. Maybe we'll break the curse and win a game before long. We've got six games this week, so we better do something or we're going to be hurting."

After a trip to Clinton County, KY, for a double-header on Monday, April 3 and a home game against new district opponent Macon County on Tuesday, April 4, Livingston Academy will host Cannon County on Thursday, April 6.

The Lady Wildcats will travel to Monterey on Friday, April 7 to take on their Lady Wildcats in a double-header, then will open next week's play with a home game against Clay County on Monday, April 10.

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Despite many errors, Cats win two games

Leah Thomas/OCN Sports
Livingston Academy junior Griffin Lee puts some grunt behind a pitch in the Tuesday, March 28 home loss to Cannon County.

By DEWAIN E. PEEK, OCN Sports
Living dangerously was the Livingston Academy Wildcats' theme in last week's baseball games, committing 17 errors in three games yet winning two of them.

The Cats opened the week's play with a District 7-AA game at Woodbury.

"We still didn't play as well as we're capable of," Coach Pat Swallows said. "We made 6 errors that let them hang around all day.

"We got 6 hits, and 3 of those were infield bunts.

"We did what we had to do to win. Any time you can make 6 errors and still win a baseball game, you're lucky. But we did the little things that counted that allowed us to win."

LA won 5-3 behind the pitching of Tyler Thrasher.

"He did a really good job, but his pitch count got up, so I took him out in the seventh," Coach Swallows said.

Errors had loaded the bases with Cannon County Lions, and brought their big number four hitter to bat.

"One bomb and we're in trouble," Coach Swallows said. "I brought Andrew Neff in, and he did a great job in relief."

Neff nailed down a save after issuing an "unintentional/intentional" walk to Cannon County's big man, then striking out the final two batters of the game.

Thrasher was the winning pitcher for LA. He struck out 6, walked 2, gave up 3 hits and 3 runs, 1 earned. Of his 98 pitches, 67 were for strikes.

Offensively, Joe Reynolds went 2 for 3, including a double, drove in a run, and stole a base.

"He did a really good job of putting the ball on the ground," Coach Swallows said.

Andrew Dixon had a hit and drove in a run, Kurt Gilbert drove in a run, Zach Ramsey had a hit, stole a base, and scored a run, pinch-runner Clint Durham stole a base and scored a run, and Tyler Thrasher and Josh Coffman each had a hit.

The following day wasn't as kind to the Cats, though the game started with promise.

"We jump on them 4-0, with Clint Durham throwing and really doing a good job through the first two innings," Coach Swallows said. "Then in the third, he just lost it.

"He couldn't find his control and ended up walking 4 in a row.

"Before we could turn around, they had scored 8 runs. Then, they scored 5 in the fourth off Griffin Lee."

LA lost 6-13.

"We made 7 errors and walked 6," Coach Swallows said. "Living the way we did on Monday night, making this many mistakes, but still being able to overcome them, we're not able to do that.

"We've just got to cut the mistakes out."

Clint Durham was the losing pitcher, giving up 2 hits, 5 walks, and 5 runs, 3 earned.

Griffin Lee came in for an inning and gave up 5 hits, a walk, and 8 runs, 3 earned.

Andrew Neff closed out the game with 4 strong innings, striking out 2 and giving up 2 hits and no runs.

Offensively, Joe Reynolds went 4 for 4 in stealing bases, had a hit, and scored 3 runs.

"He's doing a great job in the leadoff spot," Coach Swallows said.

Andrew Dixon went 2 for 3, including a double, and scored a run, Tyler Thrasher hit a double, drove in a run, and scored a run, Zach Ramsey drove in 2 runs, Kurt Gilbert had a hit and drove in a run, Matthew Lee drove in a run, and Josh Coffman had a hit and scored a run.

"Then I picked up Gordonsville on Thursday," Coach Swallows said. "We made 6 errors again.

"We really, really hit the ball well all day long, up and down the lineup."

This time LA won 11-5.

Griffin Lee was the winning pitcher, striking out 4 while giving up a walk, 7 hits, and 5 runs, 1 earned.

Clint Durham pitched in relief and struck out 3.

Joe Reynolds went 3 for 3 in stealing bases, had 2 hits, including a double, drove in a run, and scored 3 runs, and Andrew Dixon hit a home run, and drove in 3 runs.

Kurt Gilbert went 3 for 3, including a double, drove in 2 runs, scored 3 runs, and stole a base, Tyler Thrasher hit a double and scored a run, and Josh Coffman went 2 for 3, including a double, and scored a run.

Designated hitter Andrew Neff went 2 for 3, including a double, drove in 2 runs, scored a run, and stole a base, Cody Winton hit a double and drove in 2 runs, Mark Barnett went 2 for 3, drove in a run, scored a run, and stole 2 bases, and Griffin Lee and Clint Durham each had a hit.

"We feel fortunate to come out of last week with two wins out of three," Coach Swallows said.

"We can't get any consistency. When you're rained out of a game, you can't practice. You can't take ground balls in the rain. We've lost 7 to weather."

After a trip to Jamestown to play York Institute in a district contest on Monday, April 3, and a home contest against the Dragons the following evening, the Cats will travel to Byrdstown to play Pickett County in a double-header today, Wednesday, April 5.

Livingston Academy will host Greenbrier for a 2 p.m. game Saturday, April 8, then will host DeKalb County in a district game Monday, April 10. The Cats will then travel to Smithville on Tuesday, April 11 to play the Tigers on their home turf.

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