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Cardinals honor coach’s wife, add to festivities beating area rival Trojans

By Thomas Sellers Jr.Baseball Kolton Childress slide Baseball Williams score

The 2014 season started off rough for the Brighton Cardinals.
Opening night, the Cardinals were victims of a no-hitter at Arlington. Things had to get better after that. Brighton has won 8 of 11 games including sweeping a pair from area foe the Millington Trojans.
On March 24, the Cardinals traveled to Miles Park and picked up a 6-0 win over Millington. The following night the Trojans traveled up Highway 51 to the Brighton Baseball Field. When Millington arrived, the Trojan players were greeted by pink.
The Brighton Cardinals and the Brighton Booster Club organized a Breast Cancer Awareness Night to raise money for research against the disease and honor Amanda Heath.
Heath was diagnosed with Breast Cancer last year. She is currently battling the disease expecting a full recovery. Both teams celebrated Heath’s couragous effort in battling the disease.
Then both teams took to the diamond to battle out in the rematch. Brighton prevailed 11-1 in five innings when Chandler Morgan smacked a two-run single to end the game.
“So far so good with us being 8-4 right now,” Brighton Head Coach Brian Oswalt said. “We’ve been trying to think of some new things going along, swap some things around the infield here and there. Overall, hitting starting to come around a little better.
“We had some good performance on the mound with Painter tonight, with McDivitt last night,” he added. “The night before we had Colton Hathcock, so the last three games have gone well.”
Colton Hathcock has already signed with the Memphis Tigers. His younger teammates are trying to work their way to the next level. Tanner McDivitt kept the Trojans scoreless in the first game.
Then Adam Painter had to take the mound limiting Millington to one run in the fourth inning. Trojan Carter Hawkins in teammate Lucas Van Emelen.
But the Cardinals were up 6-1 at that point. Brighton bats like Nate Newman, Ladarious Williams, Dustin Rogers and Bentley Jones drove in those runs.
Newman kept his hot stick going in the bottom of the fourth inning driving in Williams with a single. Hathcock made the score 8-1 crushing a deep sacrifice fly to the outfield.
The senior Newman was up to it again in the fifth inning driving in a run with another base hit. A few batters later Morgan ended the game with a single to score two.
Newman went 4 for 4 for the night. Other key contributors during the night were Jared Webb and TJ Klutts.
“If we can get all of them hitting on all cylinders, we’ll be doing ok,” Oswalt noted.
When the game ended, both teams gathered on the mound for prayer. Brighton Assistant Coach Kevin Heath led the devotion. Then all the coaches including Millington Head Coach Billy Davis and Brighton Pitching Coach Zane Adams took a moment to say a prayer for Heath and his family along with all the players.
“When you’ve got a guy like Kevin Heath who has been tremendous for the program ever since he’s been here,” Oswalt said. “He’s been with us for three years. Amanda is great. She come to all the ball games that she can get to. When something like that hits close to home, it teaches life lessons. You don’t take anything for granted. You never know what’s going happen.”
Adams’ business Dugout Sports Academy based in Atoka donated money to the cause in the name of Amanda Heath. Spectators bought pink wristbands to also raise cash for Breast Cancer research.
Oswalt said the night hit close to his heart because of the friendship his family has developed with the Heath family. The veteran Skipper said he hopes his players paid attention to the importance of night.
“Coach Heath just gave devotion just a minute ago,” he said. “He prays for all of us and we’re for him and Amanda that they get through this. We pray to God to guide us in the right direction.
“Like Coach Heath said, ‘Nothing is guaranteed in life. So you need to get right with the Lord and follow Him,’” Oswalt concluded. “That’s what we’re trying to tell these guys and preach to them. And she’s very, very big on people getting mammograms early. It maybe will save somebody else.”

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April 2014
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