Lady Tigers prepare for Madison Central
Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 26, 2007
By Myra Bean
The South Panola Lady Tiger fastpitch softball team is earning the respect they have worked for so long.
For 13 years and through three previous coaches, the team has struggled to compete in a fast up and coming sport – a competitive sport that matches the speed of a pitcher’s throw to the speed of a batter’s bat.
Fair weather players quickly drop by the wayside. Uncommitted players find an easier cause to commit. The practices are long and repetitive, and the coaches are sometimes unrelenting, especially to a team full of talented players who sometimes get distracted.
But for those who persevere, the coaches’ promises are kept. Winning seasons abound. District championships and postseason playoffs come to pass. A chance to play one of the premier teams of state lands in their lap.
In postseason play, South Panola is 4-0 this year. Madison Central is 4-1.
Madison Central defeated Columbus 6-2, 5-1 in the first round; Horn Lake 4-2, 4-8, 3-2.
South Panola in the post season defeated Clinton 6-1, 2-0 and Tupelo 5-0, 5-2.
The Lady Tigers are sporting a 29-4 record with 23 shutouts and are undefeated on their own turf – just built this year.
Madison Central is no stranger to post season play. The Lady Jaguars were last year’s state runner-up, losing to Oak Grove who remains undefeated throughout the season. In 2005 Madison Central lost in the north half tournament to Southaven.
The Lady Tigers have scored 171 runs this season and allowed 20. Led by pitcher Whitney Kiihnl, the Lady Tigers have been stingy on defense.
They have allowed 29 hits and only three earned runs this season. Kiihnl has 445 strikeouts, 51 walks and sports an .11 era.
South Panola and Madison Central (28-4) will play at 12 and at 2 p.m. at South Panola’s field on Saturday. If a third game is necessary, it will be played at Madison Central Monday at 4:30 p.m.