Lady Cougars coming around

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Lady Cougars have been making positive strides in their efforts to extend their softball season.

"I think we're one of the most improved teams in the conference," coach Matt Rabjohn said of his squad. "We've been working hard and I think it's starting to really show when we're out there on the field."

The efforts are indeed showing, as the Lady Cougars gave one of the conference's best teams, Marked Tree, two tough games in the span of a week while also rolling over a hapless Cross County squad.

Rector fell to Marked Tree's Hannah Ghant, who Rabjohn calls "the best pitcher in our conference", in a hard-fought two-hit 6-2 loss on the road Tuesday.

The Lady Cougars had to use all their tricks to put points on the board, taking advantage of four walks with their team speed on the basepaths.

In fact, the girls in blue remained in striking distance late, heading into the sixth inning trailing 4-2. Marked Tree used trickery of their own to extend the lead, however, advancing runners with bunts and using Rector defensive miscues to increase their advantage.

Seniors Stephanie Newman and Amber Haynes each recorded a hit for Rector.

Elizabeth Loveless gave a solid effort for the Lady Cougars from the mound.

"Elizabeth did what she's supposed to for us," Rabjohn said. "She threw strikes and made them put it in play. We've got to back her up from there and make plays in the field."

The Lady Cougars record currently stands at 4-5 overall and 4-4 in 2A-3 conference play. As it currently stands, the squad is tied for fourth place in the league.

The girls came away with an impressive 14-1 dismantling of Cross County last Thursday.

Loveless got the win, allowing one run on four hits while striking out six.

All nine batters secured at least one hit for Rector. Hillary Calhoun, Bethany Sisneros and Brittany Sharp each finished with an RBI and two hits in the game. Haynes, Newman, Sarah Fannin, Rebecca Dodd, Harmony Cagle and Stephanie DeMent all had a hit in the contest.

Last Tuesday, the Lady Cougars fell to Marked Tree in a high scoring affair, 17-13.

DeMent led the hit parade with three hits and four RBIs. Sharp, Calhoun and Fannin all notched two hits and drove in two runs each. Getting a hit each for Rector were Newman, Haynes and Sisneros.

"I think that game really shows how we're improving," Rabjohn said. "We put up 13 runs. Most of the time, when you produce like that, you're going to win."

Rector was slated to visit BIC for a doubleheader on Tuesday before playing host to conference-leading Bay at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

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