By Mac McLeod,
No coach is willing to accept losing, but the good ones know that when their team does lose and learns from mistakes, then it will make for a much better team in the end.
Take Livingston Academy head softball coach Kacy Bennett. The first thing Bennett wants them to do is have a good time, but not at the expense of playing as hard as they can. It’s the mark of a good coach. Bennett also knows, that like a lot of sports, softball is a tournament sport, and while a team would like to reach the tournament stage “on a roll”, the critical thing is the team has worked out all the bad parts that close to the end of the regular season.
Such was the case last week when Livingston hosted Cannon County in a double-header on Tuesday then traveled to Macon County on Thursday. Against Cannon, the Lady Wildcats posted a pair of wins, taking the opener 2-1, then coming back in the nightcap with a solid 10-0 shutout.
On the road Thursday at Lafayette, the Lady Cats had a good shot at a win, but allowed the Tigerettes to come back late and suffered a 10-7 setback.
“We’re starting to play better as we gain more experience on the season,” junior Leah Kate Clark explained. “We didn’t hit the ball well in our earlier games, but this week we started getting some hits, and at the right times. We got a home run (from Jordan Key) and we got something like 20-plus (actually 23) in the three games. I think we’re getting to where we want to be at this part of the season.”
Bennett had similar expressions early in the week when she pointed out that the lack of hitting, in her opinion, was really due to lack of practice time due to the bad weather early in the season.
“We have some experienced hitters and I feel like it will come together as soon as we get some decent practice weather,” she said.
For two weeks now, the weather has been almost perfect and the Livingston hitting has come around.
On Tuesday, Cannon County came to town for a twin bill. In the opening game, Key took to the pitcher’s circle, pitched five innings of almost perfect pitching allowing only one run and one hit as Livingston posted a 2-1 win. Emma Dulworth and Sydney Moffitt produced two of LA’s three hits and both scored on Key’s two run double in the third inning.
In the second contest, the LA bats went into overdrive, blasting 10 hits producing 10 runs, and as a team, committed no errors. The Lady Cats got out front early with three runs in the first inning, added four more in the second, two in the fourth, and an insurance run in the fifth. Meanwhile, Key and Sabrina Garrett teamed up in the pitcher’s circle to allow the visitors only two hits and not give up a single run.
Key had the big bat, producing three hits and driving in three runs. Abby Stevens added two hits and two rbis, Jazlyn Flowers had two hits and one rbi, and Moffitt had two hits. Flowers and Jena Harris each added a stolen base to the offensive effort.
With the two wins Tuesday, Livingston boosted its record to 5-9, then traveled to always tough Macon County on Thursday. For three innings, the Lady Cats held the Tigerettes scoreless while taking a 3-0 advantage. But in the fourth, the home team posted two runs on the board and took the lead with 5 in the fifth. Livingston came back with 4 runs in the top of the sixth to tie the game at 7, then in the bottom of the sixth, Macon rallied for 3 runs and the 10-7 win.
Again Key was strong at the plate with two hits and 3 rbis. Stevens had two hits and one rbi and Moffitt also had two hits. Clark had one hit and drove in two runs, and Flowers had one hit and one rbi. Brylee Abbott had the other Livingston run.
Garrett and Key shared in the loss on the pitching circle with each giving up 5 runs and neither having a strikeout. Garrett surrendered six hits and two home runs, and Key issued four hits.
Since a lot of early season games were called due to inclement weather, the Livingston Academy softball team traveled to Watertown Monday afternoon to make up a game that had been originally scheduled for April, 1.
Watertown was ready, scoring one run in the bottom of the first inning, the hometown Purple Tigers posted 7 more in the third and three in the fourth to post an 11-0 shutout win.
On the other hand, Livingston, after appearing to have found the secret to hitting in games last week, lost the skill by getting only one hit, a solo single by Jordan Key. Livingston committed one error with Sabrina Garrett taking the loss in the pitcher’s circle, giving up 7 hits and 8 runs. Leah Clark came on in relief, giving up 3 runs on 4 hits.
Livingston saw its record fall to 5-11 with the loss.
Livingston will host Upperman tonight, Tuesday, April 13 for its only scheduled game the rest of the week.