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Wildcats falter in busy week, suffer seven losses
Lady Cats defeat Smith County
Ledbetter named All Conference
Thunder Valley MotoX hosts Loretta Lynn Qualifier
Tornados take first place in Greenwave Shootout
Potters donates shoes to track team

 

Wildcats falter in busy week, suffer seven losses

Livingston sophomore Seth Kilgore makes a play on the ball. Despite his efforts, the Wildcats lost seven of their eight games.

Senior Wildcat Clint Durham takes a mighty swing against York Institute in his team’s only victory of the week, a 6-5 victory on Tuesday, April 15.

By Kevin Burmeister,
OCN Sports

The Livingston Academy Wildcats were stretched thinly during a marathon of a week, where they played eight games in the span of six days. Fatigue contributed to the numerous mistakes made by LA team members, causing the Cats to lose seven of eight games.

The first of these came against York Institute on Monday, April 14. With opening pitch temperatures in the high 30s, the conditions were unfavorable for the Wildcats, who fell by a score of 4-2.

Head Coach Pat Swallows anticipated a struggle, but was disappointed that his team could not deliver in key situations.

“We had opportunity after opportunity to put the game away,” he said, “but we just couldn’t get the big hit when we needed to. Clint Durham pitched a good ballgame, but we just made mistakes in critical situations.”

The Wildcats hosted York on Tuesday, April 15 in another attempt to put the Dragons down. With a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the seventh inning, it appeared that York was setting the table for another victory over the Wildcats. But with a bases-loaded single off the bat of Lee Gatts, Livingston pulled together a 6-5 victory.

“We finally got the big hit when we needed to,” Coach Swallows said. “But we still made some mistakes that kept us from blowing the game wide open.”

Following this match, the Wildcats hit the road to Cumberland County and suffered a 13-10 defeat on Wednesday, April 16.

Coach Swallows noted the major mistakes that hindered his team’s performance.

“We did not make very good decisions on bunts,” he said. “They didn’t hit the ball hard all night, but we were making some critical mistakes on defense. When you score 10 runs, you should beat anybody.”

The Cats had a chance to redeem themselves on the following night, Thursday, April 17, as they hosted Cumberland County. The Jets were too strong, however, and edged the Wildcats by a 10-8 margin.

“We were swinging the bats very well,” Swallows said, “outhitting people, but just not making those plays.”

After starting the week 1-3, the worn Wildcats travelled south for the Soddy Daisy Tournament on the weekend of Friday, April 25.

“We ended up dragging arm-wise,” Swallows said, “and just not being competitive in the tournament.”

Soddy Daisy hosted the Wildcats for the tournament opener, and served them up a 14-4 defeat. A costly error on the part of the Wildcats opened the door for Soddy Daisy, breaking open a close game.

Against McCauley, a private school in the Chattanooga area, Livingston played well but were defeated, 5-3, in what Coach Swallows called his team’s best performance all year.

“They were probably the best team we played all year,” he said.
The Cats led 3-2 going into the sixth inning of play, but pitcher Allen Bilbrey had reached his pitch count, and LA relievers were unable to hold down the competition.

In its final two games of the tournament, Livingston lost to Lincoln County by a 22-3 score, followed by a defeat at the hands of Chattanooga Notre Dame, 10-3.

Over the course of the week, Livingston gave up 14 errors, 39 walks, and hit 7 batters. Offensively, they contended well despite their poor showing on the scoreboard, getting only five fewer hits than their competition.

Livingston pitching was also stretched to the limit, as Coach Swallows commented on.

“We just tried to throw everybody we had to see if we could get through the games,” he said, “so everybody was sore-armed. We threw every pitcher we had, which is 12 guys. Each of them threw somewhere along the line. We just have to start throwing strikes.

“We put 63 people on base, and you’re not going to beat anybody doing that. “It was a learning experience of playing four really, really good ballclubs. That’s the reason I took us down there, so we could see where we are. We’ve just got to get better.”

The Wildcats sought to improve on their rough week when they took on Macon County in back to back contests, visiting the Tigers on Monday, April 21 and playing host the following day, Tuesday, April 22. The Cats will round out their week of play with a visit to Monterey on Thursday, April 24, and at Cannon County on Friday, April 25.

Livingston Academy will host DeKalb County on Monday, April 28, then travel to Smithville the following evening for a rematch.



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Lady Cats defeat Smith County

Kathy Carr photo
Abby Jolley connects for a single as LA rallied with 9 hits against the Lady Tigers of DeKalb County, but fell short, losing 2-5.

Kathy Carr photo
Shortstop Kendria Kilgore makes an out as the Lady Cats lose 2-5 in a close match up with district rival DeKalb County.

By Kathy Carr,
OCN Sports

Livingston Academy split with two district rivals this past week as they lost in a close game against reigning District 7-AA Champions DeKalb County 2-5 and defeated Smith County 11-10 in a late comeback game on Thursday, April 17.

The Lady Tigers opened the game hitting the ball well and pushing across home plate 3 of their 5 runs in the first inning. LA held them to 2 hits in the second inning, however the number 9 batter for DeKalb landed a triple with a base hit to follow, which gave them their fourth run.

In the final inning, DeKalb advanced one more hitter to complete the scoring drive at 5 for the game. The Lady Tigers continue to be consistent with hitting the ball as they combined for 12 hits in 7 innings with one double and two triples. The defense was just as consistent as they committed only 2 errors for the game.

Statistically, the game was very close as the defense for LA committed only 2 errors as well. Even though the Cats were able to put together 9 base hits for the game, they left 10 base runners stranded with missed opportunities for runs.

The hits were shared by Kendria Kilgore, Brittney Cantrell, and Sarah Neff all having a double each, and singles were hit by Chelsea Carr, Liz Hall, Kendria Kilgore, Abby Jolley, and Katelyn Webb with two singles for the game.

Katelyn Webb was the pitcher for LA and ended the game with a walk and 12 hits.

As the Lady Cats continue to improve, they continue to narrow the margin of victory by the Lady Tigers. With the district tournament time fast approaching and the score growing closer, maybe the Lady Cats can catch a tiger by the tail when it really counts.

On Thursday, LA traveled to Smith County to take on the Lady Owls and the game was much closer than the home matchup with LA squeaking by 11-10 in a down to the wire nailbiter.

With Katie Collins leading the Cats on the mound, strikeouts would prove to be a determining factor for victory as she had 8 for the game and Smith County ended with 4.

Both teams had 10 hits for the game and one error was the difference between the defenses as LA committed 8 errors and Smith County ended the game with a total of 9.

Leading with the bat for the Lady Cats was freshman Samantha Maya, Abby Jolley, and Sarah Neff all with two singles each, and Katelyn Webb, Liz Hall, Mallory Mahaney, and Chelsea Carr all having one single each for the game. LA struggled to push across runs as they left 13 runners on base for the game. Although the game was somewhat sloppy at times, it was a win and a big one at that as the Lady Cats finished the week in solo position for third place.

Over the weekend, LA participated in “The Duff” tournament in Cookeville. They played three pool play games and finished 1-3, advancing to the first round in single elimination tournament play on Saturday.

They defeated Warren County in pool play game number one 9-6 with senior Brittney Cantrell hitting her first home run of the season.

Sarah Neff was the only hitter to score in game two of pool play as she hit two home runs, but LA lost 2-6 to Hendersonville.

On Saturday morning, LA played Watertown and lost 7-9 in pool play game number three, which forced the Lady Cats to face a first place pool play team in Hume Fogg. They went on to lose in the first round to Hume Fogg 2-6, which eliminated the Cats from the tournament. LA played tough and gained some experience for the younger players as the seniors were absent from play on Saturday due to the senior trip.

LA’s Lady Cats will travel to Celina to play on Wednesday, April 23, and will host Jackson County on Thursday, April 24.




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Ledbetter named All Conference

Bethel College’s Lady Wildcats tennis team recently wrapped up their most successful regular season, falling to TranSouth Conference Tournament Champion Cumberland University 5-3.

The Lady Wildcats finished the regular season with a mark of 9-3 and currently ranked 14 in the nation. But, their season doesn’t end as their 2nd place finish in the Conference Tournament qualifies them to participate in the upcoming NAIA Regional Tournament.

Prior to the tournament, All-Conference First and Second Team selections were announced. Bethel took five of the six First Team singles positions as Juliana Costa (#1), Karen Martinez (#3), Marcela Santos (#4), Margot Creaseman (#5) and Dana Ledbetter (#6), of Overton County, all earned the honor.

Santos and Costa also took First Team#2 doubles. Carolina Bello was named Second Team #2 singles. Martinez and Bello were selected as #1 Second Team doubles and Creaseman and Ledbetter were Second Team #3 doubles.

Bethel blanked the Martin Methodist Lady RedHawks in the semi-final match-up. After sweeping the doubles and leading 3-0, the Lady Wildcats breezed through the singles for the 9-0 win. That set up a rematch with Cumberland University. The previous Saturday, Cumberland’s Lady Bulldogs defeated the Lady Wildcats 5-4 in a closely contested match at home.

The result was again the same for the Lady Wildcats, but it wasn’t without many intense moments. After Cumberland took 2 of the 3 doubles matches, the Lady Wildcats started to claw their way back into the match. Santos won her match quickly to tie the score 2-2. With her win, Santos improved to 11-1 on the year.

Martinez then won her match to put Bethel up 3-2 for a short time.
Ledbetter fell to knot the score up at 3-3.

Costa dropped her match and Cumberland led 4-3. That left two matches remaining. Costa lost her first set, but won her second to force the third tie-breaking set.

Creaseman was also in the same situation after having lost a close first set 7-6, she won the second forcing a tie-break, but could not complete the comeback.

Costa’s match went unfinished as it would not factor into the outcome.
The Lady Wildcats will return to Nashville and Vanderbilt University to play in the NAIA Regional Tournament on Thursday, April 24. They will be in a rematch with Cumberland University in the semifinals.





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Thunder Valley MotoX hosts Loretta Lynn Qualifier

Kevin Burmeister photos

Riders in the Motocross Lite Consolation race took off on Saturday, April 19. The race, along with many others, was held at Thunder Valley MotoX racetrack.

A rider takes flight over one of the many hills on Thunder Valley’s track.

A rider takes a wide turn on Thunder Valley’s dirt track, as his competition looks on from behind.

A young rider tries his hand at jumping during one of Saturday’s races. The event featured racers of many ages, beginning at age five.


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Tornados take first place in Greenwave Shootout

Tennessee Tornados, an 11-under AAU Basketball Team, took 1st place in the Greenwave Shootout held in Gallatin April 11-13. The team was undefeated in the tournament with a 5 and 0 record. Team members are, front row from left, Madison Baijo, Taylor Witt, Kendall Robbins, Macey Matthews, Jayce Ramsey, Kassity McCalister, 2nd row, Marlee Sells, Kailey Winningham, Jessika McCalister, Tatum Dillon, Alexis Jones, in back, Coach Billy Sells.

Potters donates shoes to track team

Beth Underwood photo
Bill Potter, of Potters Ace Hardware, recently donated 58 pair of track shoes to the LA track team. On hand are, front row from left, Josh Looper, Lucas Moore, and Jake Beu, back row, Coach Cody Newman and Pat Brown, manager, representing Potter’s Ace Hardware.
“The kids are usually responsible for buying their own shoes, so this is a wonderful donation,” Coach Newman said. “We’re a small track team this year, but we’re certainly gonna grow.”

 




 

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