By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The results are getting closer and the opponents are recognizing the improvements in the Millington Lady Trojans.
Under the direction of new Head Coach Whitney Horton, the Lady Trojans are even picking up some wins. On April 19 Millington had a chance to earn another District 15-2A victory taking on the Haywood Lady Tomcats in Miles Park.
Haywood came to play striking a big blow in the second inning courtesy of Lillie Pittman’s three-run double. After the Lady Tomcats built a 7-0 by the third inning, Millington used the next two innings to trim that deficit to 7-6. But Haywood scored the final 11 runs of the day to prevail 18-6.
“We made a lot plays that were supposed to be routine — errors,” Horton acknowledged. “We played like we were nervous. I don’t understand why we play like that sometimes. I feel like there were some routine plays we should have made. We didn’t execute them. If we would have execute three or four balls in the infield and a couple in the outfield, the score would have been a lot different.”
Behind 7-0, Millington fought back in the third inning with three runs. Angela Healy recorded an RBI walking with the bases loaded. Two batters later Jess Trice smacked a single to drive in a pair of Lady Trojans to make the score 7-3.
After Jessie Strickland kept the Lady Tomcats scoreless in the fourth inning from the pitching circle, the Lady Trojans rallied with a Marquisha Sanders triple scoring two Millington runners.
Camilla Irizarry drove Sanders in with a double to make the score 7-6. That would be all the offense for Millington on the night.
The Haywood contest went the full 7 innings as the Lady Tomcats scored 4 runs in the fifth inning, 3 runs in the sixth inning and two more in the final frame.
The previous night the Lady Trojans were defeated in 7 innings 10-0 by the Collierville Lady Dragons. Last season the Lady Trojans reached the Class 3A State Tournament. This year the Lady Dragons feature ace and Austin Peay signee Kelsey Gross.
“Last night we faced Collierville,” Horton recalled. “One of the top team in 3A and their pitcher has already signed a scholarship with Austin Peay. She was bringing it in there about 63 or 53 mph. The score might have said 10-0, but I felt like it was a morale victory for us. It went 7 innings and we didn’t get run-ruled.”
The score was 6-0 in favor of Collierville heading into the seventh inning. Horton noted her team played well defensively against the Lady Dragons.
She said that type of play will be needed as Millington approached May.
“They need to be accountable for their actions on the field,” Horton said. “We need to be a team. We need to have leaders. I really haven’t found that leadership yet. I know I’m a new coach and these girls have learned a lot of things this year.
“But I’m looking for somebody to step in and be a leader and take over on the field,” she concluded. “To be their to encourage them and get them back up when their morale is going down. To get us back to the way Millington Softball should be.”