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Archives 04-19-2011

Sports

Girls’ Mojo softball takes first place in Challenge
Jr. Wildcats head into week with 12-5 record
Lady Wildcats move to 5-0 in district
LA soccer remains unbeaten, goes 6-0, 3-0 in regular season
LA Tennis plays well against DeKalb County
Wildcats win two over York Dragons

Girls’ Mojo softball takes first place in Challenge

photo by Christie Key
Tennessee Mojo girls softball, sponsored by Maynord Brothers, captured 8U 1st place in the 11th Annual USSSA April Fool’s Challenge in Gallatin, TN. On hand to receive their trophies were, front row, from left, Addie Brown, Shelby Radford, Chaylin Cunningham, Blair Cherry, and Jordan Key; middle row, Blake Cherry, Kaley Crabtree, Reagan Hurst, Holly Smith, Sydney Kirby, and Abby Stevens; back row, Brooks Cherry, Bob Crabtree, Todd Radford, and Wayne Key. Not pictured were Keeton Webb and Aliyah Kingery.



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Jr. Wildcats head into week with 12-5 record
Baseball in Overton County has hit full stride this spring and among the leaders are the Jr. Wildcats.

The boys in blue got off to a hot start by beating the first 3 teams on their schedule before falling to Cornerstone in the annual tournament at Sparta. After the loss, the Jr. Cats then dropped their next game at Algood. They got a great game from pitcher Cole Johnson as he held the Indians scoreless for the first four innings, and scattered 4 hits over four and two thirds innings before giving way to Seth Parker. The Indians pitching silenced the Cats bats and they ultimately fell 3-1.

The Jr. Cats then went on a tear, winning their next 6 in a row by beating Cumberland County, Van Buren County, and Prescott. The Jr. Cats once again got great pitching from the likes of Bobby Allred, Cole Johnson, Seth Parker, and Zeb Randolph. The Jr. Cats awakened their bats during this stretch grinding out 31 hits as a team, with Hunter McDonald, and Jordan Savage leading the way.

Speaking on the key to his team’s success, Coach Brandon Thomas stated flatly, “I’m a hitting coach, and we’ve struggled a bit this year in that category, but that is baseball and sometimes the pitching is better than the hitting. We have gotten great pitching from our guys, and I can’t say enough about that.

“We lost James Owens after the second game of the year, and that changed our team’s entire look, but we have had kids step up and take the lead in his absence. I can’t say enough about Bob (Allred), and Cole Johnson, along with Zeb Randolph.

“Seriously though, I can’t talk about this team without talking about Jordan Savage.
He is the type of kid that will do whatever he is asked, and you never hear a word from him. I know in the past he has played every position in the dirt and this year I have asked him to be my catcher, and I couldn’t be prouder of him. He has taken that job and made it his own.”

The Jr. Cats, like most other teams in the Upper Cumberland, battled the rain to get on the field the last part of March. When play resumed on April 4, at Cornerstone Elementary, the Cats got key player James Owens back and he was set to take the mound to duel with the undefeated team from Baxter. Again the Cats got a great effort on the mound, but couldn’t generate the offense to beat Cornerstone.

Coach Thomas summed it up, “James didn’t have his best stuff, but threw a great game by being a smart pitcher. Jordan (Savage) called a great game and going into the bottom of the fifth we had a 3-0 lead. I should have pulled James at that point and brought a fresh arm in, but I didn’t and they mounted a rally and in the end they got us 4-3.”

The Cats then got right back at it, and again lost to a good team in Cornerstone by a score of 2-1.

“Again we couldn’t mount any offense,” Coach Thomas said. “It’s frustrating because we have hammered them with hitting drills this winter and spring, and we are struggling. I’m not taking anything away from the kid who threw at Cornerstone, the Guffey kid. I think he is the best we have seen this year.

“We also got a great game out of Kaleb (Qualls) as he threw his first game since missing most of the year with a broken leg. I thought Kaleb threw great, and I think they actually had two hits, but we just couldn’t get it done.”

The Jr. Cats came right back with two games against Stone Memorial, and this time they brought their bats with them. They beat Stone rather handily in Crossville, and then again at home.

“Yeah, we hit much better that first Stone game, and we rolled,” Coach Thomas said. “Then we come back the second game and really struggled after a little layoff due to the rain. I expected to struggle a little, but they mounted a much stronger showing against us this time”.

Overton County Junior Wildcats (12-5) have 6 remaining games on the year. Coach Thomas is proud of how his season has gone so far.

“My goal when I came in here was to see progress, and I think we definitely met that goal,” he said. “I told these guys when I got here that I wanted to teach them about more than baseball, I wanted to teach them about life.”


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Lady Wildcats move to 5-0 in district


Josh Scott photo
Meriam Maynord heeds her coach’s signal to get down as she slides into third base in the Lady Cats’ win over DeKalb.


Josh Scott photo
Kelsey Copeland puts the ball in play against DeKalb.

By Josh Scott,
OCN Sports

It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. For the Livingston Academy’s softball team, this could be the motto of their season so far. Last week, Coach Ashley Fisher said that this past week would be huge. In the end, she can’t help but be satisfied with the results.

On Wednesday, the Lady Cats took on defending 8AA champion DeKalb County. It had been six long years since the Lady Cats could claim a victory over DeKalb, and to get a win on Tuesday, April 12, the Lady Cats would need to be on their A game.

Things started off well for the Lady Cats as Meriam Maynord drove in Amber Mainord in the bottom of inning number one, and the Lady Cats took a 1-0 lead over the defending champs; however, DeKalb battled back to score three runs in the third, and take a 3-1 lead over Livingston Academy.

The Lady Cats battled back one run at a time as senior leader Samantha Maya went deep for her first home run on the season in the fourth inning to draw the score to 3-2. In the sixth, junior Courtney Smith found a gap to drive in Maynord from second base and tie the game at three apiece. After a great top of the seventh, the stage was set.

Big things come in small packages, and none were bigger that Tuesday than 5 foot 2 inch Amber Mainord in the bottom of the seventh who led off with a triple that set Morgan Johnson up with a chance to score Mainord and win the game. Johnson struck, and sent the ball to left field, scoring Mainord and giving the Lady Wildcats a huge win over DeKalb County.

Meriam Maynord and the defense stifled DeKalb County while Maynord tossed seven innings, allowing 3 runs, 1 earned, on 5 hits for the win.

On Thursday, the Lady Cats took to the diamond to face Smith County, a team the Lady Cats defeated in 11 innings two weeks ago. This time, a new, shocking, hero would lead the charge for the Lady Cats. Katelyn Webb, who hadn’t had to bat a lot for the year, was that hero.

After a back-and-forth game, the Lady Cats took to the home half of the seventh, down 2-1, that one run being on a sacrifice fly that drove in Ashley Boykin in the second inning. With two away, Smith found the gap in right field for a single, followed by a Kelsey Copeland single to left, and after the runners were moved, Webb found herself batting with an 0-2 count with runners on second and third. The stage was set, again.

With a solid swing, Webb hit the ball to short, the shortstop fielded it cleanly, only to make an errant throw to first, letting Webb reach safely. Meanwhile, Coach Fisher had sent Smith home, and the play at the plate was late, bringing the score to 2-2.

While the scramble for the ball at home resumed, Fisher then sent the speedy Copeland home, and the play at the plate, although almost too close to call, was late. The Cats had defeated to Lady Owls, 3-2.

“I feel that we are growing as a team, and we are getting tougher mentally,” Coach Fiser said. “Considering all we had gone through with tragedy, and all, it was great to get these wins for the kids.”

Versus DeKalb, Coach Fisher knew that it was a seven inning game, “Sam’s home run was huge, and it showed DeKalb we weren’t going away. We never lost focus. Amber Mainord was huge and then Morgan, wow. That was such a great win and I am definitely proud of how we played. Against Smith County, Katelyn was huge. I was so proud of her to step up like she did. Hopefully that will give her a lot of confidence going forward.”

The Lady Wildcats (7-7, 5-0) picked up a win Monday night against Cannon County by a score of 3-0.

“Tonight we played a bit complacent,” Coach Fisher said, “but it’s a win. Overall, we’ve done well defensively. We’ve stayed focused, and I preach seven innings. We’re resilient, and we’re finding ways to win. Good teams find ways to win.”

Livingston Academy will have a home and home with Upperman today, April 19, at LA, and Thursday in Baxter. They will then travel to York on Friday, before traveling to Cannon County Saturday.

“It’s not how you start,” Coach Fisher said, “it’s how you finish that matters.”




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LA soccer remains unbeaten, goes 6-0, 3-0 in regular season

By Lyndon Johnson,
OCN Sports

The Livingston Academy Wildcats boys soccer team kept an undefeated record in the regular season by notching two more wins last week to bring their overall record to 6-0 and their District 8 A-AA record to 3-0.

According to Coach Ethan King, the Cats started their week on the road with a 5-0 win over Jackson County’s Blue Devils on Tuesday, April 12, with LA senior Jake Huitt providing an early offensive jolt by scoring a hat trick in the first half of play.

“At Jackson County, Jake Huitt had a hat trick in the first half, scored all three goals in the first half and Justin Timmons and Dustin Matthews scored in the second half,” King said.

The Cats then went to White County High School to play the Warriors, where they won 2-0 on goals from Huitt and Timmons. According to King, Timmons scored off a corner kick.

“Jake Huitt scored, he missed a penalty kick, but then got the rebound and put it in the net,” King said. “And Justin Timmons scored off a corner kick. Jesse Carr got the assist on that one.”

King seemed happy at the pace his team maintained, but said they had trouble getting good shots on goal.

“At White County, we had lots of chances,” he said. “We had a hard time finishing. We probably had four or five breakaways. For the most part, we controlled most of the game, we just couldn’t finish.”

This week, the Wildcats will continue their road trip, visiting district rivals Friendship Christian School tonight, Tuesday, April 19. Then, the team will return home Thursday, April 21 for senior night versus Cookeville High School’s Cavaliers before playing a make-up game against Cannon County Friday, April 22 during a special 1 p.m. game that students will have the option to attend.

“This week is a big week, we have a little bit stiffer competition. Friendship will kind of be who will get the edge for first [in the district]. It doesn’t really determine it, but it kinda puts you in a good position. And then we play Cookeville for our senior night, and despite their record, they’re a lot better than their record. They’ve just been playing some really tough teams,” King said.

King said students would have the option to buy tickets to the Friday afternoon game against Cannon County’s Lions rather than go to their fourth block classes.

“We hope we get a good turnout, although it’s Good Friday and they’ll be having a snow makeup day, so attendance at school may not be very high to begin with, but we’re hoping we get some people out there,” King said.

The Cannon County game has been postponed twice already this season due to inclement weather. Cannon is one of only six district games in the Wildcat’s regular season schedule, so King is hopeful they can play it this time around.

“Cannon got rescheduled because of that rainstorm last Friday. This will be our third attempt,” he said, noting that a non-district game against Lebanon that had also been postponed may not be made up. “We’ve got to try first to make sure I get that Cannon County game in before, and then we might try to look into rescheduling it or something like that.”


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LA Tennis plays well against DeKalb County

Kaylee Masiongale photo
Jessica Sandlin serves the ball to an opponent during her win on Thursday.

Kaylee Masiongale photo
Cheng Zheng reaches for a ball during a singles match against DeKalb County.

By Kaylee Masiongale,
OCN Sports

Livingston Academy Tennis played against DeKalb County on Thursday, April 14, and played well, taking a win in 9 of 12 single matches.

Coming away with a win in the single matches for the girls were Katy Hummel, Jessica Sandlin, Hannah Hoover, and Rachel Allred. In the boys division Tyler Tallherst came away with a win in both single and double matches.

In doubles, the Wildcats took away a win in three of the four matches, with Taylor Riley and Heather Thomas playing for the girls and Cheng Zheng and Tyler Tallherst playing for the boys.

Team member Taylor Riley said, “We played really well aginst DeKalb County. The team really did a great job.”

The Wildcats were scheduled to play against Cannon County on Saturday, but the game was rescheduled for a later date due to rain.

 

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Wildcats win two over York Dragons
By Dewain E. Peek,
OCN Sports

Coming into the 2011 baseball season, things weren’t for certain on how it would go at Livingston Academy. Halfway through the season, there is a better idea of how it has gone, but as well as what can be done to improve on what has already or has not already been accomplished.

After a week off because of the tragic auto crash that took the lives of two Livingston Academy students and injured three others, the boys in blue took back to the diamond Monday night, April 11 to play rival York at home. Needing a district win, the Cats knew just how important the game would be.

The game was never in question as LA took a lead early and never looked back. The defense, which had been suspect at times throughout the season, held strong and Livingston Academy took an 11-3 decision over York Institute.

Justin Savage picked up the win for the Wildcats, tossing 5 innings, allowing 3 runs on 3 hits, while striking out 10 batters.

Colby Reeder led the Cats offensive charge, going 4 for 4 while scoring 4 runs, while Savage contributed to his own cause batting 4-4 with a home run and while also managing to drive in 3.

Tyler Martin also came through for Livingston with a 2 for 4 outing while driving in a run, and Hayden Hill also went yard on the evening with his fourth home run of the season.

The next day, the Wildcats traveled to York to wrap up the home and away series with the Dragons. This time, the result was the same, and this time, it was a little nicer. After a solid performance the previous day, the Wildcats followed up with a 14-2 win over the Dragons, virtually taking the fire right out of the Dragons.

This time Josh Johnson picked up the win on the evening, tossing 5 innings, allowing 2 runs on 6 hits while striking out 6 batters and walking 2.

Offensively, Reeder, Martin, and Hill each picked up an RBI, with Reeder picking up 2, while Bubba Jolley and Lucas Dailey also drove in a run apiece.

Also on the night full of offense, Wildcats Marshall Cannon and Justin Savage each drove in 2 runs, while Conor Oliver also managed to pick up an RBI.

Livingston then traveled to Cookeville on Thursday and Cannon County on Monday and fell short in each game. At Cookeville, the Cats could not get anything going against one of the best in AAA, falling to the Cavs by a score of 10-0.

In Woodbury, the Wildcats would fall in a 5-0 hole before rallying back in the sixth inning to draw the game to a 5-4 score before allowing two more runs to cross and ultimately fall 7-5.

“Our defense is what is killing us right now,” Coach Shane Qualls said. “We can hit with just about anybody, but it’s the routine plays that are killing us at the moment.

“It wasn’t a bad week overall, and we needed to get those two wins early, but Cookeville is a great ball team in AAA, and Cannon is pretty good in our district. It’s never fun to lose, but really, it’s all about the district tournament.”

Livingston Academy (5-10, 3-6) will host Cannon County today, April 19 at 5 p.m. The Wildcats will then travel to Crossville for a double-header with the Jets Thursday evening.

“Hopefully, we’ll get it going and get some motivation going into the tournament,” Coach Qualls said. “We know what we are doing wrong; we just have to fix it.”

 

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