Lady Tigers drop two, eliminated from MPSA overall tourney

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 9, 2003

CLINTON &045; Coachspeak says to treat all games the same, but these five-star generals will freely admit that it is difficult to maintain the same level of focus and emotion from one opponent to the next.

And after you’ve reached your No. 1 priority, how do you get your team’s energy back for truthfully unimportant contests?

Overall, the Centreville Academy fast-pitch softball season was a success, as the Tigers captured their third consecutive Mississippi Private School Association Class AA State title last Saturday.

Email newsletter signup

Unfortunately, CA, which went undefeated in both South State and State games, struggled at the MPSA Overall Tournament on the campus of Mississippi College Wednesday, losing its first two games and suffering elimination from the tournament that concludes Saturday.

After Jackson Prep, the Class AAA runner-up to Hillcrest Christian, jumped out early on the Tigers on its way to a 10-2 defeat, Centreville came back immediately after to take an early lead on Franklin Academy before losing 5-2.

&uot;There’s not but one team that will go home at the end of the year undefeated,&uot; Tigers head coach Kenny Jackson said. &uot;If you can be that team, that’s great. You don’t want to treat (Overall) as an All-Star game, but once you win State, and it’s so emotional, it’s hard to get them back up to that level the next week.&uot;

CA fell behind 1-0 in the second game to the Cougars after 1 1/2 innings before senior Jenae Jackson got things started with a one-out infield single in the bottom of the second.

Kelly Simpson scored Jackson when she fired one back up the box to ricochet off Franklin pitcher Hiedi Lee to tie the game 1-apiece.

Two batters later, Tiger shortstop Haley Bowser doubled to score Simpson and give Centerville its first lead of the afternoon in two games, 2-1.

&uot;With a 2-1 lead I wasn’t feeling too confident, to tell you the truth,&uot; Jackson said. &uot;We tried to get more runs across, but we didn’t execute when we needed to.&uot;

CA pitcher Kendall Madsen helped the Tigers cling to their one-run lead by retiring Franklin Academy, the Class A runner-up to Winston Academy, in order in the third.

However, the fourth saw the Cougars reclaim the lead when leadoff hitter Sandy Carroll went shopping at the gap in left centerfield, coming away with a 2-RBI triple to put FA back on top, 3-2. It was Carrol’s second triple of the game.

&uot;Sandy Carroll had two triples that sparked us, I think,&uot; Cougars head coach Michael Kramer said. &uot;If we hadn’t gotten those, I’m not sure how the game would’ve ended up. It feels good to beat an AA champion.&uot;

In the fifth, things seemed to be back on the right track for Madsen and the Tigers, as she held Franklin at bay, by retiring the first two batters with a runner dancing around second base.

However, Cougar first baseman Laura Little got a fastball she handled well enough to deposit well over the left field fence for a 2-run jack.

&uot;She’s been struggling. She hadn’t had a hit in three games, so she was due,&uot; Kramer said of Little. &uot;We bounced back after this morning, played well on defense and hit the ball a lot better.

In the loss to Prep, Madsen was again cruising, retiring the first six batters in order before the Patriots exploded with a five-spot in the top half of the third inning.

Prep leadoff hitter Morgan Brister and pitcher Maribeth Willoughby each collected 2 RBIs in the inning to open the floodgates for the Patriots, which collected their second win of the day to advance to the winner’s bracket final.

It will be a Class AAA State final rematch for Prep, which defeated Winston Academy Academy, Class A’s champ, 11-1 for its first win Wednesday.

&uot;I was afraid we might come out a little flat,&uot; Prep head coach Chris Bond said of the Centreville win. &uot;Last week (at State) we whipped a team pretty good and came back in a game pretty flat. But we were able to put that big inning together, put a 10-spot on the board.&uot;