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Lady Tigers lose close contest to Prattville

The Demopolis softball team’s 2006 might have opened with a difficult loss, 7-6 to Prattville Tuesday afternoon. But head coach Joey Browder says that doesn’t mean it isn’t also off to a great start.

“We played well,” he said Wednesday. “I was very well pleased with our effort and attitude. They played a great game. We played as a team, as one unit on the field, and each player took care of business. Everybody had great plays.”

That great play very nearly resulted in a road win over a solid 6A team. A Dorothy Knapp solo home run in the top of the seventh and final inning gave the Tigers a 6-4 lead in a game that had seesawed through the first six innings. But Prattville rallied with three runs in the inning’s bottom half to stun the Tigers and claim the victory.

Brandi McGee pitched all seven innings and took the loss for Demopolis, now 0-1 on the season. McGee allowed seven hits while walking six and striking out seven, throwing 77 of her 130 pitches for strikes.

Knapp finished 3-for-5 with 1 RBI on the home run. India Chancelor went 2-for-5 with a pair of RBIs, Corey Gross added 2 RBIs, and Molly Barnes went 2-for-4.

Browder said that given that the game was the Tigers’ first one of the season, he was more-than-happy with how his players performed at the plate.

“We haven’t seen a whole lot of live pitching. We’ve only been practicing two weeks and the weather’s been terrible,” he said. “But I was very happy with how we hit the ball. Everybody hit it.”

The Tiger’s opening day lineup included McGee on the mound, Chancelor behind the plate, Barnes at first, Knapp at second, Hunter Lewis at shortstop, Corey Gross at third, and an outfield of Courtney Willingham, Stephanie Gross, and Morgan Paterson.

The team will take the field again Friday at 5:30 p.m.against 5A Northridge in their first home game of the season. The game is expected be held at the Demopolis SportsPlex. The Tigers will follow that with a tournament held Saturday at Hillcrest High School of Tuscaloosa.

“We’ve still got a long ways to go. We made a few errors in the field and we have to work on all aspects of our game … there’s plenty to work on,” Browder said of his team’s positive debut. “But we’ve got the first one under our belt. It was a tough loss. But despite it being our first ball game we almost beat a good 6A team. They have a great attitude, the hustle and effort are there … I couldn’t ask for them to be any better.”