Softball falls to Gallatin in district tournament, 11-5

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By Kristin Beck

The season ended in the district tournament for the Lady Panther softball team as they lost 11-5 to the Gallatin County Lady Wildcats on Tuesday May 24.

The teams were able to get through four complete innings the day before and were in the top of the fifth when heavy storms delayed the game to Tuesday.

While they notched 11 hits to Gallatin’s 13 in the game, errors and a six-run third inning by the Lady Wildcats foiled their plan for a comeback.

Head coach Ken Blair said eight of Gallatin’s 13 runs were unearned, while Carroll earned four of their five. “If we don’t give them so many gifts, we’re right there with them,” he said.

The Lady Wildcats started hot right out the gate, scoring two runs in the first inning. They scored six runs in the bottom of the third on five hits—a triple, a double and three singles—and two Carroll errors, building an 8-0 lead.

The Lady Panthers got their bats rolling in the top of the fifth. With one out, Kayley Perry started the rally with a double. Brittany Yocum reached on an error, moving Perry over to third. Mackenzie Ogden hit an RBI single to put Carroll on the board. Kayla Williamson followed with a two RBI single and eventually scored on an error, cutting the lead in half to 8-4. Kelsey Ogden also hit a double, but was left stranded on base after two teammates were tagged out on a double play.

Unfortunately for the Lady Panthers, the Lady Wildcats scored three runs in the next two innings to pull away. Carroll scored one more run in the top of the seventh as Mackenzie Ogden tripled and Williamson brought her around on a groundout.
Blair said his team committed many of the same fielding errors that have plagued them through most of the season, one of the growing pains with a young team.

“We had kind of an up and down season,” he said. “It was kind of like a roller coaster; it’s like that with young people. You saw them take two steps forward, but then one step back. But at least we’re inching forward, and there is a good core group for the upcoming years. Most of our starters were freshman, and that bodes well for Carroll County in the future if they will work hard.”

The team graduates two seniors, Haley Damron and Tasha Hunter.

The Lady Panthers finished the season with 5-20 record in Blair’s first season as head coach. While last year’s team also won five games, the 2010 squad was run-ruled six times compared to just once this season.

“They’ve shown flashes of brilliance,” Blair said, “and at other times, they’ve made very rookie errors. That’s the burden of youth.”