By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The Hardin County Lady Tigers and Munford Lady Cougars had a crash course in getting to know one another Thursday night.
The two squads play an annual doubleheader to save on mileage with both schools two hours a part. This year the Lady Tigers came to the Munford Softball Field dropping the first game 12-1.
The Lady Cougars dominated with big hits from several players like Peyton Joyner, Christina Cantrell and a homer by Tori Ray. But what made Munford successful in the first game seemed to disappear in the finale for the night. Hardin County used solid pitching from Ashley Channell to outlast the Lady Cougars 3-1.
“Patience is part of it,” Munford Head Coach Glenn Goulder said. “In the second game, we got very impatient at the plate. We were swinging at high change-ups on the first pitch, ball outside of the zone. The result was a lot of flyballs to the outfield and real lazy ground balls hit to the shortstop or third baseman.
“You’ve got to be smarter than that, this point of the season,” he added. “ If this had been the first week of the season, I wouldn’t be real concern. But being this late in the season, that really concerns me.”
Munford starter Sam Scott was solid in both game. But the offensive support she enjoyed in the opener vanished in Game Two. In the first game, Munford was able to piece together rallies and drive in runners in scoring position with line drive hits. The Lady Cougars left multiple runners on base in the second game. The Lady Tigers broke a 1-1 tie late in the game with a pair of runs. Goulder noted the Hardin County pitcher was getting his players to swing at pitches outside of the zone.
“They just have to buy in,” he said about his players being more disciplined at the plate. “Some are starting to buy in and some haven’t done it yet.”
With May around the corner, Goulder said his players have to be more focused at the plate and in the field. And he knows his five seniors will do their part to get the Lady Cougars ready for another run at State.
“Senior leadership is pretty good,” he said. “They’re doing what they’re supposed to do and encouraging the younger ones. Tonight was just ugly. I think they got a little bit of a false confidence after the first game.
“We’re not 11 runs better than Hardin County,” Goulder concluded. “Don’t kid yourself. I tried to tell them that. And they came out thinking they would rip them in the second game. And it didn’t happen.”