By Angie Ledbetter
The South Panola Lady Tigers recorded their first two losses of the season to No. 4 nationally ranked Newton County, 4-0, on Friday night and to Poplarville 3-0 on Saturday afternoon.
The team traveled to Meridian to participate in the Spring Fling Invitational which lasted two days.
The South Panola Lady Tiger fastpitch softball team (9-2) had a 7-0 record after defeating the Horn Lake Lady Eagles in a double header on the road Thursday.
In game one the Lady Tigers shut out the Lady Eagles 10-0 in five innings. Nicole Fullilove got the win, pitching four innings with a 65-pitch count. Fullilove struck out six, allowed one hit and two walks. Getting the save, pitching the scoreless last inning was Caroline Dickins with one strike out on 21 pitches.
The Lady Tigers had 11 hits, left nine on base, three errors and had seven earned runs. The Lady Eagles had one hit, left five on base and committed three errors.
Scoring three runs was right fielder Marla Rudd, who also had two singles and one RBI. Dickins hit a triple and two RBIs. Fullilove helped out her cause with a double, a single and a RBI. Crystal Contreras hit two singles and had one RBI while Lauren Calvert hit a single. Also hitting a double was Meri Morgan Fortune who drove home three runs.
The Lady Eagles gave the Lady Tigers a little more fight in the second game but the Lady Tigers came out on top 5-2.
Fullilove picked up the win throwing the complete game in seven innings with nine strike outs, allowing one walk, two runs, two hits and one earned run.
In top of the first Amanda Ivy drew a walk and later scored the first run of the game. Rudd scored after hitting a single to get on base.
Ivy tripled to score the other run giving the Lady Tigers a 3-0 lead going into the fourth.
The Lady Eagles scored their first run when right fielder Morgan Clark got hit by the pitch.
Fortune singled and Dickins drew a walk to pick up two runs for the Lady Tigers in the top of the sixth. In the bottom of the frame the Lady Eagles scored their last run.
The Lady Tigers ended the game with six hits, three errors and left three stranded. The Lady Eagles had two hits, no errors and left five on base.
Ivy led at the plate with a triple and one RBI.
Fortune followed with three singles and two RBIs. Also getting singles were Rudd, one; Fullilove, one and two RBIs.
SP vs. Newton County
The first game for the Lady Tigers (7-0) started two hours later than scheduled when they took the field at 8:30 p.m. to take on the Newton County Lady Cougars who was the No. 1 team in the state and No. 6 in the nation. The Lady Cougars (7-1) got their first loss of the season the night before, defeated by Brandon.
Newton County shut out the Lady Tigers 4-0 in six innings. The Lady Tigers had two hits by Brown, left three on base and had three errors. Fullilove pitched the complete game, striking out 11, allowing seven hits and three earned runs.
In game two Friday night the Lady Tigers (8-1) shut out the Germantown Lady Mavericks (4-3) 4-0 and walked off the field at midnight.
The game was highlighted by a two-run homer by Amanda Ivy to drive home Rudd in bottom of the first inning for a 3-0 lead.
Rudd singled to get on base drove home Brown for the first run.
In the bottom of the second, Haley Reid, running for Lauren Calvert who had singled to get on base, scored on a Brown triple for the fourth and final run of the game.
The Lady Tigers recorded five hits. Hitting were Brown, single, triple; Rudd and Lauren Calvert, one single each; and Ivy, homerun.
Fullilove got the win pitching three innings.
Dickins got the save, pitching the last three innings.
On St. Patrick’s Day Saturday, the St. Patrick Lady Irish did not receive much luck as they fell to the Lady Tigers 7-1 in the Tigers’ third game of the tournament.
This win again was highlighted with a three-run over-the-fence homer in top of the third by Ivy who drove home Contreras and Rudd who both walked to get on base.
In the first, Ivy hit a sac-fly to right to drive home Brown and Rudd for the first two runs of the game.
In bottom of the first, St. Patrick scored its only run.
With two outs in the third, Dickins doubled to left field and scored on a Lindsey Calvert single.
Rudd drew a walk in the top of the fifth. With the bases loaded with Ivy and Dickins, Lindsey Calvert grounded out to first but drove home Rudd for the last score of the game.
Fullilove picked up the win with 10 strike outs and four walks.
The Lady Tigers had four hits, three errors, left three stranded and had seven earned runs. Ivy accounted for five RBIs and Lindsey Calvert, two.
SP vs. Poplarville
The last game of the day was not very lucky for the Lady Tigers as they were shut out by the Poplarville Lady Hornets (6-3) 3-0 in five innings.
The only hit for the Lady Tigers was a single by Lindsey Calvert.
Fullilove had seven strikeouts and four walks.
The Lady Hornets had four hits, two errors and left seven on base.
Lady Tiger head coach Ashleigh Hicks was pleased with the overall effort of the team.
“This was probably, all in all as a whole, the best talent we’ve played against since coming here for a long time,” Hicks said. “Last year we didn’t win a game, so two and two isn’t bad. I’m proud of my girls because this is a big turn around from last year and it should boost them. We beat St. Patrick which was a very good team and Germantown wasn’t sloppy to me either.”
In the losses, Hicks said they gave away runs with errors.
“I’m hoping we learned something from these games and get it all weeded out by the time district comes,” she said. “I feel playing these types of teams should prepare us for district.”
Both pitchers did a great job according to Hicks.
“I can’t complain about either one of them,” she said. “Our pitching is there but we’ve just got to get our defense and sticks with it. Fullilove came through and pitched two long games today and Caroline came through and closed the game last night.
“Offensively, we didn’t get the hits when we needed them but I think we had good at bats,” Hicks continued. “All of them battled and very rarely did you see three strikes and they were out.”
The Lady Tigers start district play today as they host the Grenada Lady Chargers in the first of the Strike Out For Cancer (SOFC) games beginning at 5 p.m. with the junior varsity matchup.
Funds raised from the campaign will be donated to Blake Sergi, a local child.
Thursday, the Lady Tigers will travel to Southaven for non-district games at 5:30 p.m. Friday, they return home to host St. Benedict in non-conference action at 5 p.m.
The team will play in the Hernando tournament Saturday and will play at 8 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 5:15 p.m.