By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Coming into the 2015 season, two Millington Lady Trojan seniors knew they had to take on stronger leadership roles.
Katie Dupree knew her role would be middle infield and lead-off hitter. She has the task of setting the tempo for the offense and securing the center of the field on defense.
Her fellow classmate Ashlee Bone knew in March she would be Head Coach Rick Hearn’s catcher. With that job, Bone had to help protect and develop young pitchers like Jessie Strickland and Olivia Ballard.
“They both work really hard,” Bone said of her pitchers. “I have a good connection with the both of them. Olivia, I’ve watched her pitch growing up. Jessie is my cousin and I’ve caught her growing up. This is her first time pitching on a big field like this. I’m real proud of Olivia. She’s going to be great by the time she becomes a senior. And Jess is working really hard too.”
Ballard pitched Millington to a win last Thursday in Game Two against District 14-3A foe Kingsbury. In the first game, Strickland toed the circle and helped the Lady Trojans outlast the Lady Falcons 9-1.
Strickland’s run support started in the first inning with Dupree drawing a walk and a throwing errors allowed her to reach third base. Moments later another error scored Dupree to make the score 1-0.
Lady Trojan Angela Healy was at the plate and finally singled to reach base. Next to the plate was Jess Trice.
The sophomore slugger stroked a triple to the outfield to score Healy to make the score 2-0.
“It gave us a boost of energy to get ahead,” Trice said.
Millington added three more runs in the bottom of the first inning to go ahead 5-0. Dupree started another Lady Trojan rally in the second inning with a bunt single and stolen base.
The senior speedster eventually crossed home plate to make the score 6-0. Healy, Trice and Kayla Cranford played key roles in helping the Lady Trojans score three more runs to go ahead 9-0.
“When you go up to the plate, you’re just eager and you want to hit the ball,” Trice said. “But sometimes you just can’t because of different type of pitchers. Your discipline has to kick in.”
Millington stayed disciplined on defense only allowing one run in the first game to prevail 9-1.