By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Senior Night started with a bang for the Munford Lady Cougars.
Munford pitcher Kayla Reed crushed a solo homer to lead off the April 23 contest against the Arlington Lady Tigers. Then the Lady Cougars erupted for three more runs in the opening inning to jump ahead 4-0. The Lady Tigers clawed back to eventually prevail 5-4 in the Class 3A showdown.
“I think we took the foot off the accelerator a little bit when we got four runs,” Munford Head Coach Glenn Goulder acknowledged. “That’s when you need to put the foot down. We didn’t take advantage of it. And we made a real bad base running error that took us out of an inning.
“They made some great plays,” he added. “Their shortstop really made some dandy plays against us. They won 23 games for a reason. We’re real young but we’re starting to grow up. I hope maybe right here at the end of the season we can grow up a little bit more.”
The Lady Tigers entered the game at Munford as the team to beat in District 14-3A. Meanwhile the Lady Cougars are still finding their way in the jumble-up District 13-3A standings.
After Reed limited the Lady Tigers to a single in the first inning, she stepped up to the plate, crushing a homer over the left field wall. Munford was ahead 1-0. The Lady Cougars tallied three more runs in the frame to jump ahead 4-0.
Arlington started to chip away at the deficit in the third inning when Kendall Graham stroked a two-run double to make the tally 4-2.
The Lady Tigers trailed 4-3 after Gracie Doyle drove in a run with a single. Arlington finally tied the game at 4-4 in the fourth inning when Gracie Brown brought home a runner with a sacrifice fly.
Arlington finally broke the deadlock when Autumn Belviy hit a laser past the second baseman. The ball raced through the grass all the way to the wall. By the time the Lady Cougar outfielders collected the softball, Belviy was on her way toward home plate for an inside-the-park home run.
Ashtyn Manley came in for relief of Belviy to earn the save and win for Belviy and Lady Tigers.
“I hope they don’t like losing,” Goulder said of players. “I hope it leaves a bad taste in their mouths. I hope they’ve got a good memory. I hope they know they can play with teams who have talent. We’ve still got a little bit more growing up to do but we’re starting to get there.”