Thursday, October 6, 2005

Lady Patriots gain valuable experience at state tournament


The Marshall Academy Lady Patriots held their own against two of the south’s best in last week’s State AA Softball Tournament.

MA lost 4-3 to Silliman, La., the top seed from the south half, and 2-0 to Columbia Academy, the number three seed from the south. It was the Lady Patriots’ first-ever trip to the state tourney.

“The girls played great,” coach Louanne Tomlinson said. “It was a good experience. We won’t be intimidated next year when we get back. None of us knew what we were facing when we got there; now we will know more next year.”

Marshall fields a young team. There are only two seniors on the team – Anne Bishop and Kristina Polk – and no juniors.

“To go down there and be so young, we did well,” Tomlinson said.

The tournament was played at Freedom Ridge Park in Ridgeland.

Marshall Academy stunned Silliman Institute by going up 1-0 in the first inning.

The Lady Wildcats rebounded, scoring all four of their runs in the bottom of the third, two on MA errors.

The Lady Patriots tried to fight back. They added two more runs in the fifth, and they had the tying run on third in the top of the seventh before the third out was recorded.

“We did an outstanding job,” Coach Tomlinson said.

Mandy Bolden had two singles and a triple for Marshall and two runs-batted-in. Lauren Alexander had a double and a single and crossed home plate twice. Traci Rodgers had two singles. Casey Gibson and Heather Tomlinson added successful bunts.

Casey Gibson pitched for MA. She faced 27 batters, striking out two and walking two. Tomlinson said she pitched a good game.

The Lady Patriots then faced what Coach Tomlinson called an “awesome pitcher” for Columbia in their second game of the state tourney.

“We had a lot of strikeouts,” she said. “We just couldn’t get to first base.”

Alexander also “pitched great” for MA, according to her coach. She faced 20 batters, striking out five and walking none.

The Lady Cougars scored one run in the first inning on an error and then added an earned run in the bottom of the fifth.

Marshall Academy finishes the successful softball season with a 14-9 record.

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