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Archives 05-10-2006

Sports

Cats season closes in district tournament
Lady Wildcats close regular season play
Nashville Sounds offer tickets for musical instruments


Cats season closes in district tournament

Leah Thomas/OCN Sports
Senior Josh Coffman drove in a run against Macon
.

By DEWAIN E. PEEK, OCN Sports
A two-part first round loss in the District 7-AA Tournament brought an end to the Livingston Academy Wildcats' 2006 season. The 3-8 loss to rival York Institute finished an 8-game losing streak.

"That's not the way you want to end the season," LA Baseball Coach Pat Swallows said, noting that the Cats have not been put out before the double-elimination rounds in more than 20 years, and have won the tournament 4 in a row.

"It's not the way we envisioned, but we got on a bad roll there after the senior class trip," he said.

"It was not that we played that poorly, it was just that it seemed everything was critical, every mistake we made cost us, every little flare that somebody would hit against us would fall in for a big hit.

"Our pitching, we didn't throw as well at the end of the year as we did at the start of the year.

"All those things together hurt us. When you start losing, it's hard to get out of that rut."

Coach Swallows was proud of the effort put forth by his team in trying to get out of that rut.

"They did everything we asked them to," he said. "They worked hard. They did all the things that are necessary to try to break out of it. We just couldn't."

The end came in the first round of the tournament in a game that began at Livingston Academy, but ended at York Institute.

Andrew Neff started the game for LA and pitched until the top of the fourth inning, when rain caused the game's suspension with 1 out and 1 ball called on the Dragons' batter.

LA was trailing 0-4 after the Dragons had hit 2 home runs.

"It was supposed to be played here on Saturday afternoon," Coach Swallows said. "We could never get our field in shape by that time, so we had to move it to York to finish the game.

"We had to go to York and pick it up right there, which is unusual."

When the game resumed, York scored 3 more runs off of LA's Clint Durham on a home run that followed what was thought by the LA faithful to be strike 3, which effectively put the game away.

LA scored 3 in the bottom of the inning, and not again. York tacked on another run in the top of the seventh to win 8-3.

Neff was charged with 3 earned runs, on 5 hits and a walk, while striking out 4.

Clint Durham took the loss for LA, giving up 4 runs on 2 hits and 3 walks, while striking out 5.

Tyler Thrasher closed out the game for the Cats, giving up a hit and a walk and striking out a batter.

Offensively, Kurt Gilbert went 2 for 3, stole a base, and scored a run, Joe Reynolds went 3 for 4, Tyler Thrasher and Zach Ramsey each went 2 for 4, Anthony Matthews hit a double, drove in a run, and scored a run, Clint Durham and Mark Barnett each had a hit and drove in a run, Andrew Neff had a hit, and courtesy runner Todd Smith scored a run.

The game was the last for 6 graduating seniors -ÊMark Barnett, Josh Coffman, Andrew Dixon, Kurt Gilbert, Anthony Matthews, and Tyler Thrasher.

"We're going to miss them. They've been a big part of the program, and are great young men," Coach Swallows said.

On the season, Mark Barnett had 15 hits, scored 9 runs, and went 7 for 7 on stolen base attempts.

Josh Coffman scored 10 runs and drove in 9.

Andrew Dixon had a .329 batting average, had 27 hits, including 12 doubles, 13 walks, 16 RBI, scored 20 runs, and went 12 of 14 on stolen base attempts.

Kurt Gilbert hit .351, had 27 hits, including 7 doubles, drove in 22 runs, and went 14 of 16 on stolen base attempts.

Anthony Matthews had 8 hits, scored 5 runs, and stole 3 bases.

Tyler Thrasher had a .389 batting average, 28 hits, including 6 doubles, 16 walks, scored 11 runs and drove in 22, and went 11 of 11 on stolen base attempts. On the mound, he went 4-5 with a 2.78 ERA, had 54 strikeouts, and held opposing batters to a .230 batting average.

Last week's play began with two games against Macon County, the first one at home on Monday, May 1.

Macon County jumped ahead with 4 runs in the first, 2 in the second, another in the fifth, and 2 more in the seventh before LA rallied for 7 in the bottom of the seventh, but ultimately losing 7-9.

Andrew Neff was tagged with the loss for LA, giving up 7 runs on 9 hits, a walk, and a hit batsman, while striking out 7.

Cody Matthews finished the game, giving up 2 runs on 3 hits.

Zach Ramsey went 2 for 4, hitting a double and a triple, drove in 3 runs, and scored a run.

Joe Reynolds had a hit, stole 2 bases, and scored a run, Andrew Dixon stole a base and scored a run, Tyler Thrasher, had a hit, stole a base, and scored a run, Kurt Gilbert had a hit and scored a run, Josh Coffman drove in a run, pinch runner Todd Smith scored a run, Cody Winton drove in a run and scored a run, and Mark Barnett had 2 hits and drove in a run.

The following night at Lafayette, Macon County pulled away 6-0 before LA scored 2 runs in the sixth and another in the seventh, losing 3-6.

Tyler Smith was the losing pitcher for LA, giving up 6 runs, 5 earned, on 4 hits and a hit batsman, while striking out 6.

Griffin Lee finished the game for LA and allowed 2 hits.

Zach Ramsey had 2 hits, including a home run, Andrew Dixon hit a double, Clint Durham and Joe Reynolds each stole a base and scored a run, Josh Coffman drove in a run, Mark Barnett had a hit, and Anthony Matthews was hit by a pitch.

Looking to next year, Coach Swallows hopes to build on the pitching staff.

"With the exception of Tyler, we will have all of our pitching back. We should be better fundamentally. We've just got to get stronger."

He also looks for eager players to want to fill the shoes of the departing seniors.

"We've got guys who have sat here all year waiting for their opportunity," he said. "Now we will have to replace six, so it will be an opportunity for somebody to step up and take over."

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Lady Wildcats close regular season play

Kaylie Wilson pitched the complete game.

By DEWAIN E. PEEK, OCN Sports
Livingston Academy's Lady Wildcats closed out the high school softball regular season last week with three games decided by as many runs.

Every game was won 3-0, unfortunately for the Lady Cats, only one of the games was won by LA.

The first game of the week was a District 7-AA contest at Smith County, where the Lady Cats fell 0-3.

LA could muster only 4 hits in the game, with those coming from the bats of Liz Hall, Katie Vaughn, Ashley Mitchell, and Amanda Roberts.

LA Softball Coach Mike Johnson said, "It was not a big hitting day for us. That girl was a good pitcher. We just couldn't hit her."

Kaylie Wilson pitched the complete game, striking out 2, allowing no walks, and giving up 6 hits.

"It was not a bad pitching performance," Coach Johnson said. "That was a good team and we held them pretty low scoring.

"We made one mistake and gave them a run, the other runs they earned.

"We didn't play bad against them," he said. "We just can't hit this year. That's all there is to it. We can't make any offense when we need to.

"Neither team got on base much. All three games were like that."

Livingston Academy hosted Cannon County the following evening for the Lady Cats' last home game of the season. The four seniors -Jessica McDonald, Ashley Mitchell, Kirstie Dillon, and Lisa Reeder - were given special recognition.

The game started off with a bang for LA.

"We scored all 3 runs in the first inning, and didn't score again," Coach Johnson said. "After the second inning, neither team had a baserunner.

"Lisa Reeder had 2 hits, and Katie (Vaughn) had a hit, and that was it."

Dillon and Vaughn each drove in a run.

Wilson was the winning pitcher in the 3-0 LA victory. She had 4 strikeouts and allowed a walk, 2 hits, and no runs.

"We won the game, that was great," Coach Johnson said.

The next day, the Lady Wildcats hit the road to Jamestown to play York Institute.

"Just like the first time we played them, we had no answer for their pitching," Coach Johnson said. "We had only one baserunner, Kayla Ferrell. She got on with a walk. We could not hit the ball.

"They've got good pitching. She's just a junior. We've got to learn to hit her."

Kaylie Wilson took the loss on the mound, despite striking out 2 and allowing only 2 walks, 5 hits, and just 1 earned run in the 0-3 loss.

"She's been pitching great," Coach Johnson said. "It was a really close game. We've been playing well.

"If we could just hit the ball, we'd do well in this tournament," he said making reference to the District 7-AA Tournament, which was rescheduled and relocated because of rain.

The tournament was supposed to begin last week at Tennessee Tech, but was scheduled to begin Monday night, May 8 at Upperman High School.

LA entered the double-elimination tournament as the number 5 seed.

A District 7-AA Hall of Fame ceremony was planned to be held at the end of the tournament to honor former Livingston Academy Softball Coach Danny McCormick and former Lady Wildcats pitcher Mandy McCormick.

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Wildcats Soccer splits week

Leah Thomas/OCN Sports
Livingston Academy's Greg Walker directs the ball in the 0-5 loss to Cumberland County Monday, May 1. The Wildcats defeated White County 2-0 on Thursday, May 4.

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Overton County News
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