Posted on March 31, 2016.
By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The work of Tommy Clifton, Zane Adams and Millington Lady Trojans Head Coach Whitney Horton among others turned heads March 22.
The Lady Trojans’ home softball field had a total makeover at Miles Park. The outfield had the look of fresh green grass and the infield was a crispy dirt brown. The fleshly chalked lines meant it was time for the home opener for Millington and the debut of Coach Horton on her home field.
But new District 15-2A foe, the Covington Lady Chargers were prepared to ruin Horton’s first home game. Taking advantage of Millington miscues, Covington won the game 16-0.
“I believe it was all mental,” Horton said. “We made a lot of mental errors that cost us some runs in the beginning. In practices they make that bang-bang play. I don’t know what was going through their minds. Maybe it was a different atmosphere, having a lot of people here. Maybe they were a little nervous.
“Hopefully they’ve got that out of their system,” she continued. “I told them, ‘It was just the second game. We made a lot of mistakes mentally. And we made a lot of mistakes at the plate.’ We have to go up there with a vengeance and act like we want to hit. We just can’t take a whack at it. We didn’t swing with any authority.”
The Lady Chargers were not swinging the bats with much authority in the first inning as Lady Trojan Jessie Strickland struck out a pair of Covington batters.
Millington went scoreless in the first inning and trailed 1-0 heading into the second frame. Things were going well for Strickland in that inning recording two outs without giving up a run.
Then an error at first base allowed Covington to keep its inning alive. The Lady Chargers tallied 5 runs in the second inning to jump ahead 6-0.
Covington put the game away in the third inning outscoring Millington 10-0. Over the span of the contest, the new-look Lady Trojans’ confidence seemed to decrease.
Horton said things can only go up for her team and they have to learn to overcome the mental bumps in the road toward becoming winners.
“I want them doing things by themselves — me not having to tell them everything to do,” she said. “So when this comes it’s time for us to get our heads into the game. Let’s stop laughing, clowning and giggling when it’s time for us to get our heads into the game.
“I want to see them in game-mode,” Horton concluded. “I would love to see them do that on their own instead of me or Coach Burgess have to tell them to do that.”