Lady Tiger Fastpitch

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Amanda Ivy steals home for the first run of the game against Horn Lake in the bottom of the first. The Panolian photo by Angie Ledbetter

Lady Tigers fall in back-to-back games

By Angie Ledbetter

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The Lady Tigers fast pitch team (2-2) recorded back to back losses last week after falling to Senatobia 3-2 Thursday and 3-2 to Horn Lake Friday.

In 37 degree temperatures, the Lady Tigers hosted Senatobia and came up short after a hard fought game. Senatobia scored a run and then a player hit a home run for a second run to go up 2-0 in the top of the second.

At the bottom of the third, short stop Lady Tiger Hillari Plummer singled then stole second.

Chelsea Allen was out at first advancing Plummer to third.

Left fielder Stormy Robison doubled on two outs and drove Plummer home before pitcher Kenzi Reed singled to drive Robison in for the tying run.

In top of the sixth, Senatobia scored what turned out to be the winning run when Lady Warrior shortstop Madi Adair walked and made her way around the bases for the win.

The Lady Tigers got seven hits and made 12 strike outs. Reed pitched the complete game for the Lady Tigers. She allowed four hits, three runs, including a home run, committed one error, and had eight strike outs.

The Horn Lake game was scoreless until bottom of the fourth. Third baseman Robison hit a triple with one out and first baseman Meri Morgan Fortune singled, driving her home.

In the top of the sixth, Horn Lake got on the scoreboard when first baseman Minton singled with one out. With third baseman Rhoades at bat, Minton stole to third while pitcher Gavza was at bat. Rhoades had walked and stole second. Gavza got out at first sacrificing when Reed threw to first for the second out. Left fielder Clay hit a single bringing in Minton for a run and advancing Rhoades to third. Right fielder Celsing got the third out when catcher Kelsay Hancock threw the ball to first with the game tied at one.

Right fielder Walton was hit by a pitch and advanced before third baseman Meredith Roberson hit a triple driving home Walton for the 2-1 Lady Tiger lead.

Lady Tiger errors led to Horn Lake breaks in the top of the seventh inning.

Center fielder Robins started the inning with a single. While second baseman Bradley was at bat, Robins stole third and Bradley bunted. The ball was over thrown to second with runners scoring the tying and winning runs of the game.

“The mental part and being young is what has got us both times,” Coach Ashleigh Hicks said. “The mental part is what I start teaching before we start playing. We had some mental errors tonight in the sixth inning. If we could’ve held up, we would’ve probably won the game. But that’s part of it. I told the girls after the game that if they learn what not to do now and then when it does matter, it’ll help them. You play these games to get prepared for district and playoffs. I think they have learned two valuable lessons in both these two games that we lost.”

Hicks reminded this year’s team of the mental mistakes players made on the two teams that won the state championship. They also lost games those two years.

 “I’ve always told my kids even when we had Whitney, Cassie and all of them, that if you learn something from a loss, then that’s when it’ll help us,” Hicks continued. “I keep telling the girls that I’ve never asked them to be perfect. All I ask them before the games is that when the game is over and they cross the lines back, did they give it their all. If they can look at me and say they gave it their all then we’ll hold our heads up and keep going. I think they gave it their all.”

Pitching was not where it is capable of being with Reed, according to Hicks.

“Kenzi was not on tonight with her pitching. I think her mental game was off because of Horn Lake. I don’t think she was tired or sore since she pitched last night. She wasn’t hitting spots and her speed was way down.”

Facing the three tough teams on the Lady Tigers’ schedule last week was a test made by Hicks.

“Horn Lake on those jerseys really gets in their heads sometimes,” Hicks said. “They let Southaven games get in their heads also. We’ve never been in this situation before but I scheduled Horn Lake, Senatobia and Southaven to put them in these situations. We could go around and schedule games that we know we could win and we could be 4-0 right now easily but I want them to be in these situations and playing good teams.”

After losing back to back games, Hicks says it’s going to be hard to help them keep their heads up but it’s going to take her keeping her head up and them seeing that she isn’t down.

“I hurt when they hurt and I know they’re hurting. I don’t know of another place that works as hard as we do. We won the state championship and took three weeks off. Then we went back to lifting weights and running. We played all summer and we’ve been going all fall. It’s a mental thing of trying to get them to keep their heads up because they have worked hard. I don’t want them to leave and say the coach tells us we work hard and it’s going to pay off and then it not.”

The Junior varsity team defeated Senatobia 6-0 in three innings on Thursday. In the bottom of the first, they scored the six runs. Scoring those runs were Olivia Taylor, Amanda Ivy, Paige Jordan, Lauren Calvert, Lindsey Calvert and Madison Greenlee. The defense held Senatobia in the next two innings.

They defeated Horn Lake 6-0 on Friday. Scoring the six runs in the game were Ivy, Mary Beth Hayes, Taylor, Lauren Calvert and Lindsey Calvert. On the mound for both games were Kelsay Hancock, Diamond Browning and Madison Taylor. The junior varsity game on Saturday was postponed until March 14.

The Lady Tigers will be in action tonight at home taking on Southaven. Junior varsity will start at 5 and the varsity at 6. On Thursday they will host Cleveland. Junior varsity starts at 5 and varsity at 6.