By Thomas Sellers Jr.
A young team trying to develop talent prefers to play a team in a similar situation to start a season.
But the Millington Lady Trojans lost those opportunities when District 14-3A contest were postponed against the Kingsbury Lady Falcons and Cordova Lady Wolves. Instead the youthful Lady Trojans were blessed with enough sunlight and good field conditions to play league favorites Arlington and Bartlett.
The Bartlett Lady Panthers made there way to town March 30 to take on Millington. The Lady Panthers left Miles Park with a 20-0 victory.
“Last week we played a lot better than we did today,” Millington Head Coach Rick Hearn said. “Last week we handled the ball some over at Arlington and then at Briarcrest, we made some errors. We have a young freshman pitcher. She’s not going to strike many people out at this point.
“Bartlett is a veteran team,” he continued. “They know how to hit. I knew they were going to score 10 to 12 runs. But we can’t help them out with dropping pop ups and not fielding routine ground balls. We make some routine plays, we can make the games a lot better and grow on that.”
Olivia Ballard toed the rubber in the circle for Millington against Bartlett. The freshman hurler delivered what Hearn expected, throwing the ball in the strike zone limiting walks.
Between Lady Panther lasers and solid hits, the Lady Trojan defense did commit some errors keeping Bartlett innings alive.
The Lady Panthers tallied 7 runs in the first inning. Bartlett build its advantage to 16-0 after two innings starting with base hits from Carlye Cicinelli and Sarah Craig. Then their teammate Makenzie Corder smacked a double to the outfield driving in both runners to make the score 9-0.
The next big hit for Bartlett came courtesy of Abby Ripp. Her rip allowed her to reach second base and scored two more Lady Panthers to make the tally 14-0.
Bartlett led 16-0 after two innings and added four more runs in the third inning to post a 20-0 victory. The Lady Panthers looked solid from the plate and in the field.
Meanwhile the Lady Trojans made a few moves in the outfield and infield during the contest.
“We’re still looking at infielders and people to play,” Hearn acknowledged. “It’s going to be a work in progress. The next three weeks in April, we have a game just about every weekday. So that’s going to help us get better. That’s going to get us into some type of playing groove.”
Hearn said getting in as many reps before May will have his team get better for the postseason.
“The only people we have that have played a lot are (Jess) Trice at first and (Ashlee) Bone behind the plate and (Katie) Dupree at shortstop,” he said. “Everybody else is pretty much new. We’re trying to develop them.
“It’s hard to do it when you get rained out against Kingsbury and Cordova,” Hearn concluded. “And you have to play Arlington and Bartlett. That’s the way it is in sports. Hopefully we can build from that and get better. We’re going to keep battling and go out there and play.”