Lady Tigers cruise to first area victory

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 17, 2006

Demopolis High School head softball coach Joey Browder made it clear that he didn’t want to insult the play of Choctaw County after the Lady Tigers area-opening win Thursday night.

But there weren’t exactly a lot of positive things to say about Choctaw’s game after the three-inning, 15-0 bruising that ended by mercy rule at the DHS softball field.

Sophomores Brandi McGee and Sara Davis led Demopolis’ Lady Tigers (8-5, 1-0) at the plate, each driving in two runs on 2-3 showings at the plate.

Email newsletter signup

“We played good, sound ball tonight,” Browder said. “No throwing errors or fielding errors.”

From the mound, Davis pitched three innings of no-hit softball, striking out five and walking one. In 33 pitches, Davis threw 25 strikes and only eight balls.

The Choctaw Tigers’ pitching was, to be perfectly honest, not quite as effective. Along with the RBI base on balls that Courtney Willingham’s drew in the second inning, McGee and Davis’ RBIs were the only runs that were scored in the traditional manner.

The other 10 runs scored on errors, wild pitches, passed balls, and other means that did nothing for the Demopolis players’ statistics.

But nonetheless, Browder said, “now we’re No. 1 in the area, and that’s what counts.”

In the third (and final) inning, Willingham stepped to the plate with the bases loaded after Jasmine Simmons drew a walk. But then a wild pitch scored McGee, and a bad exchange from pitcher to catcher let Davis sneak into the plate as well.

After taking a couple of skipping balls, Willingham then watched a pitch soar three feet above her head and to the backstop, which let Simmons come home as well. So when Willingham slapped a laser to center on the next pitch, there were no runs left to drive in.

“It a little frustrating for them,” Browder said, “but we know what to expect with Choctaw.”

Almost immediately after the mercy rule was declared, the Lady Tigers began preparing for a trip to Meridian, Miss., tomorrow to play in a tournament there. They will face Clarkedale, Miss., at 11:30 a. m. tomorrow.

Browder said the tournament will be a challenge, since he will only take five of his starters to Meridian. Three regular players were scheduled to attend a DECA Conference with other members of the DHS club.

And major contributor Dorothy Knapp, he said, has been down with the flu all week.

It will be tough, he said, but “I expect the (junior varsity) players to step up the challenge, plug some holes and do their best.”

“If everyone plays their best and we still drop one, that’s no problem,” Browder said. “As long as we can hit the ball, we usually win.”

The team will spend the first two days of spring break in Wetumpka, near Montgomery, next week at another tournament.