By: Larry W. Walthall
The Charleston Lady Tigers Softball Team, coached by Jay Crowley, went into Friday’s game against Paris with a record of 7 and 5. It was a beautiful sunny day for the last day of March. These two teams, Paris vs. Charleston in any sport will be a hard fought game. Add the determination of this Lady Tigers team and home field advantage it was going to be an inning-by-inning match up to watch, and neither team let the spectators down. Paris had brought a lot of fans (as usual) and Charleston had a crowd of fired up fans.
For the first three innings it was some solid playing. There were several hits, bunts, stolen bases and great pitching from both teams. Neither team could put the right combination together to get someone all around the bases. Finally in the 4th inning Charleston put some unique spin to the game. Lady Tiger #8 McKenzie Biggers reached base with a hard hit single. Then # 14 Kim Byrd swung, the ball hit the plate and went fair to move Biggers around. A nice hit by #9 Sidney Tate brought Biggers around for Charleston to go up 1 to 0.
When Paris came to bat in the 5th inning they put a few hits together putting a couple of runners on base. Just as Charleston thought they had shut Paris down, the Lady Eagles put together a pair of hits bringing 2 runners across home plate. Now Paris goes up 2 to 1. In the bottom of the 5th Charleston was not able to put anything together leaving the Paris Lady Eagles up by 1 run.
Going into the top of the 6th Paris’s first batter put a double on the board, followed by another hit and a stolen base. They were able to move runners around the bases to score 1 run and putting Paris up by 2. Coming up in the bottom of the 6th the Lady Tigers needed to make some kind of move. Charleston put together a series of hits, a stolen base along with a few more hits to get a run across home plate. Then a wild pitch by Paris allowed another run to come in to tie the game at 3. With bases loaded Lady Tiger Lacey McKinzie had the opportunity win her own game but a great play by Paris ended the inning in a tie.
The 7th inning did not produce any runs for either and both teams had runners left on base. EXTRA inning coming up. When you go into extra innings, you start off with your last on base runner going to and starting from 2nd base. With Paris being up first Charleston would know what they had to do. Lady Tigers pitcher Lacey McKenzie was able to strike 2 Lady Eagles out and force a ground out. Paris did not make it easy for Charleston but the Lady Tigers were able to shut them down with no runs. All The Lady Tigers had to do now was get a hit to score that runner from 2nd. Coach Crowley has faith in all his Lady Tigers so he just said play ball. It was #21 Stormy French that came through with a solid hit to allow Charleston to score in this extra inning battle. Final score Charleston 4 to Paris 3. Charleston chalks up a BIG WIN and goes to an 8 and 5 record.
So what did Coach Crowley have to say about his Lady Tigers and the game? “ The girls competed will, never got down and did what it took to win the game.”