How sweet it is! There isn’t much that feels better than a victory. It is made even more sweeter when you finally get to walk off the field victorious after 13 straight losses to start a season which is what the Jonesboro-Hodge Lady Tigers did by beating Ringgold 29-23 on Monday.
If you have followed the Lady Tigers you could see that it was coming albeit, slowly. Being truthful, at the beginning of the year Jonesboro-Hodge was not good and that is being polite. In all fairness the team is comprised of mostly underclassmen who is getting their first taste of varsity competition and as the old adage goes you have to learn how to crawl, before you can walk then eventually run.
Over their first five games they got beat by an aggregate score of 79-6 and not a single game lasted more than three innings. Then a small step forward was taken when they scored 11 runs against Summerfield and went a full seven innings in the 18-11 loss. Four games against simply better teams came next and they “ten run ruled” each time out. but more hits and runners on base were being produced by the gritty players who despite the setbacks kept working hard to get better.
The Lady Tigers came within a whisker of getting their first win of the year Saturday before last but fell in extra innings to Ringgold. The good news was that for the first time all year they had scored in three straight games where they compiled as many runs scored than in the previous eight combined. The transition to becoming competitive was really noticed the next two games against Saline and Red River when, although they got “ten run ruled” in both, they scored six and nine respectively compared to the zero and three that they tallied the first time they played the two.
Then they made the trip to Ringgold for a rematch of their most competitive game of the year. As first year head coach Tracey Taylor said he could see the determination in their eyes to break the year long string. The Lady Tigers stepped off the bus scoring runs. Every starter scored in the first inning with four tallying twice before the first out was made as JHHS scored more runs in the first inning (13) than they had in any game all year.
It was obvious that Ringgold’s didn’t want to be the first team to lose to the Lady Tigers as after four inning the Lady Redskins held an 18-17 advantage. There was to be no denying J-H on this day though. Playing with a new found confidence of expecting to get on base instead of just hoping, J-H continued to score almost at will, piling up twelve more runs over the last three innings.
“I am so happy for the girls to get this win,’ said a jubilant coach Taylor. “They have worked so hard to get better and you can see they are starting to really progress. Credit needs to be given to Coach (Fabrecia) Jackson, ‘Coach (Cynthia) Cole and Coach (Wayne) Anderson as well as they have really worked hard with these young ladies to help them improve.”
Obviously when a team scores 29 runs their were many offensive stars. Amber Melton and Renisha Evans reached base and scored five times each. Madison Page, A’Brianna Paggett and Zoie Anderson did even one better by getting on base an incredible six times each that led to crossing home plate four, three and three times respectively. Madalyn Freeman and Kyla Hayes got on all five times they batted and added three runs apiece to the total as well. Kaylee Ethridge added two runs and Jessica Bradford one to round out the scoring.
Class 5A Parkway walks past Lady Wolverines
(Monday) Parkway didn’t manage but four hits all game but three walks and an error in the fateful fourth inning led to four runs in the 6-5 victory over Quitman. It was a bitter loss to take as the Lady Wolverines squandered a 5-0 first inning lead and ended up leaving six runners on base. Madison Chaplin led off with a walk and then scored on Maggie Guyotte’s double to get things started. Back to back to back singles by Maddie Kaye Brymer, Cali Deal and Madison Vail had the girls halfway to leaving the city of Bossier early but uncharacteristically Quitman left at least one on base in every inning from then and never scored again Parkway scored a pair of unearned runs thanks to back to back errors in the third to close the gap to 5-2 before coaxing three walks from a tiring Deal that accompanied with Quitman’s third error of the game and a single allowed Parkway to rally. Madelin Vail had three RBI and Jada Naron had two RBI to lead the offense. Quitman stole nine bases with Brymer, Skylar Hall and Vail getting two apiece.
WP – n/a, LP – Deal (9-5)
2B – Guyotte
RBI – Naron 2, Deal, Guyotte, Vail
SB – Brymer 2, Hall 2, Vail 2, Williams, Chaplin, Naron
Quitman rally against #1 in Class 4A comes up short
The table was set for a last inning rally. Three straight singles by Luke Morgan, Ty Simonelli and Logan Ponder had loaded the bases and Kyler West had already scored to bring the Wolverines within one of the top ranked team in Class 4A. Then the analytics back fired as when Joshua Smith flied out to right that would have scored Morgan from third, the North DeSoto right fielder tripped Quitman up by firing to third to get Simonelli out, negating the possible run and ending the contest in heartbreaking fashion.
The four hits Quitman got in the final frame equaled the number they had over the first six against North DeSoto pitching. North DeSoto managed only five hits against three Quitman pitchers but seven free passes, turned out to be the Achilles heel. Three walks and an error led to staring pitcher, Ponder giving up runs in the first and third inning. Warren King came in to keep things close with 1.2 innings of no-run ball but two walks by Jordan Vail and a passed ball in the sixth plated the decisive run. West and Ponder, who had two RBI, had two hits apiece for half of the Quitman hits while Blake Carter had two stolen bases and scored a run. The contest that was played in Stonewall, which is southwest of Shreveport, was Quitman’s 16th road game of the year compared to only two games played at home.
|North DeSoto (20-3)||1||0||1||0||0||1||x||3||5||0|
WP – Remedies, LP – Tilley
RBI – Ponder 2
SB – Carter 2, Morgan
Upcoming Schedule (April 1-2)
Ernie Banks, the great Chicago Cub shortstop who was famous for saying “Let’s play two” would be pleased with the upcoming Monday and Tuesday schedule for both JHHS and Weston baseball team. The Wolves travel to Grace Christian in Alexandria for a twin bill on Monday, while the Tigers take to North Caddo in Vivian for the final two of their three game, district 1-2A set. Even Quitman is going to play two games on Monday, but that will be a Junior Varsity contest followed by the varsity against North Webster as the local baseballer all have long road trips ahead of them. The Weston girls will be on the road as well but only have to travel to Columbia to play Caldwell. Both the baseball and softball teams from JJHS host North Caddo on Monday.
|Thursday, April 1||Time|
|North Caddo at JHHS (Baseball)||6:00pm|
|North Caddo at JHHS (Softball)||6:00pm|
|Quitman at North Webster (Baseball) JV/V||4:00pm|
|Weston at Grace Christian (Baseball) DH||2:00pm|
|Weston at Caldwell (Softball)||5:30pm|
|Friday, April 2|
|JHHS at North Caddo (Baseball) DH||5:00pm|