By Mac McLeod,
After having their season opener delayed last Monday due to a truck accident that prevented new clay from arriving from Alabama to bring the field up to par, then rain washing out the second game on Wednesday, the Livingston Academy Lady Wildcats finally got the 2021 softball season underway Friday and Saturday in the Spring Kickoff Challenge at Cane Creek Park.
With last season being devastated by the coronavirus, the Lady Cats were anxious to hit the field, and in the first of four games that started on Friday, they proved that point by scoring 17 runs on 13 hits in a 17-4 win over Lenoir City.
Livingston Academy got off to a quick start with Brylee Abbott opening up with a first inning home run to put the Lady Cats on top. Abbott would have three hits on the day, including the homer, and drive in four runs. Jazlyn Flowers added a home run in the fourth and collected two hits on the day that would account for three runs batted in.
Abby Stevens would collect two hits as would Addie Brown and Sydney Moffitt. Jordan Key and Abbott each had one hit.
On the mound, Key went three innings, giving up three hits and striking out three. She got credit for the win.
After the opening win, things got a little tough for the Lady Cats as they dropped their next three games, two by slim margins then a solid beating from Hardin Valley in the event’s closing game.
Red Boiling Springs used a home run and two more scores to take a 3-1 first inning lead, then had to hold on for a 3-2 victory. Livingston scored once in the first and once in the second, but could never muster the tie or go-ahead run. Each team had only four hits.
Three LA players had hits, including two from Key, and one each from Emma Dulworth and Jena Harris. Leah Kate Clark was the losing pitcher, going two innings, giving up three runs on three hits. She did strike out six. Sabrina Garrett came on in relief in the fourth.
Against Middle Tennessee Christian, Livingston trailed from the outset, falling behind 3-0 in the first inning and only managing one run in a 5-1 setback. Middle Tennessee Christian used nine hits and Livingston could only manage four. Key had two of LA’s four hits and scored the only run for the Lady Cats.
Key went the distance on the mound and was credited with the loss.
Hardin Valley posted four runs in the first inning, added five more in the second, and capped off the afternoon with three in the third for a solid 11-1 win over the Lady Cats. Only three Livingston players got hits, and Challice Matthews scored the only LA run. Key, Dulworth, and Garrett got the LA hits. Clark went one inning and gave up eight runs on six hits while Garrett came on in relief and went two innings, giving up three runs and four hits.
Livingston Academy is scheduled to return home today, Tuesday, March 23, hosting DeKalb County at 5 p.m. then is slated to play at home again on Thursday, hosting York, also at 5 p.m.