The Marshall County Tigerette softball team is off and running to a great start, beginning with a masterful pitching performance from senior ace Mieke Wallace, who twirled a 3-0 no-hitter versus Hickman County last week.
On Monday night at Reese Hambrick Field in Lewisburg, the Tigerettes blended some of their young talent in with a bevy of returning starters in a 5-3 win over Columbia Central.
Sophomore Kayla Harmon turned in a gritty complete game performance in the circle versus the Lady Lions. Harmon allowed 13 hits, but worked her way out of several big jams to finish off the job.
Another sophomore, KiKi Summers, playing in the designated hitter spot, showed her strength in getting on base for Tigerette head coach Holly Barnes, going 3-3, stealing a base and scoring the go ahead run.
Freshman Mary Medley donned the catching gear and was solid behind the dish, but was huge standing next to it, driving in Summers with the go ahead score on a two-run double in the fourth inning.
The return from injury to the playing field by senior leader and speedster Addricka O'Neal was a welcome sight to all in attendance and O'Neal did not disappoint, making three huge signature catches in the outfield, including a soaking wet, game ending diving catch down the right field line.
Barnes is excited to have O'Neal back in the lineup and said after the game, "Just look at that play to end the game. Not only does Dricka show leadership as senior, but they all see she is willing to do that for the team after coming back from her injury and that is huge."
Columbia scored first in the ballgame on a third inning one-out RBI triple off the center field fence by Amber Lockridge that scored Kayla Floyd. Harmon dug in and retired the next two batters, ending the threat of a big inning.
Marshall County came back in the bottom of the fourth inning as Wallace ed off the frame with a single to center, Stashia Osborne sacrificed Wallace to second, and Summers singled to left field, setting the table for Medley.
Summers took off for second on the first pitch, putting runners on second and third, before Medley fought off an inside pitch, hammering the yellow ball down the right field line to clear the sacks and put the Tigerettes up for good at 2-1.
After a fielder's choice by Harmon, senior Kwanza Pillow slapped a two-out single down the left field chalk, scoring Medley to make it 3-1.
Harmon pitched her way out of a two-on, two-out jam in the top of the fifth inning when freshman Danielle Toseland made a pretty running catch in left field, shutting the door.
The Tigerettes added two more runs in the bottom of the frame on an unearned run and an RBI single by Summers.
The Tigerettes took the 5-1 lead into sixth and Harmon did it again, whiffing Jordan Willis with two runners on board to end the inning.
Columbia threatened big time in the top of the seventh, knocking Harmon for four hits and two runs, but O'Neal's circus catch to end the ballgame gave Harmon the win and kept the Tigerettes undefeated at 2-0.
"I am very pleased with the effort today in only our second game," said Barnes. "That was big battling back from behind and we played good defense. Kayla did a great job working hard in the game. That performance should be good for her confidence."