Leopards lose their rhythm

Lady tiger softball defeats cross-town rivals

Sophomore Emma Prince catches the ball at home in an attempt to get Liberty Eylau player out. The Lady Tigers beat rival school, Liberty Eylau 9-7.

Story by Graci Henard, staff writer

The Lady Tigers started off slow against their hometown rivals Liberty Eylau, as sophomore pitcher Olivia Huckabee walked the first batter. The Tigers began warming up as junior Lauren Allred stepped up to the plate. On her first time at bat, Allred hit a home run with a runner on base, giving the Tigers the lead at the bottom of the first inning 2-1.

The Tigers began to face the challenge of Leopard’s power-hitters when a left-field hit made way for three Lady Leopards to add runs to the scoreboard. The Lady Tigers followed the Leopards in scoring during the second inning, leaving the score at 4-3 in favor of Liberty Eylau. 

The Leopards continued to show their strength in the third inning by scoring three runs. However, in the face of adversity, the Tigers added a run to the scoreboard by senior Mollie Johnson making it 7-4 with the Tigers trailing.

Head coach Robbie Hatfield decided to put freshman pitcher Mollie Fisher onto the mound with hopes of limiting the Leopard’s hitting scheme. 

“I knew [they] couldn’t [score] anymore,” said Hatfield. “I knew that we had to make a change in the pitching and hopefully Fisher could shut them down.”

The atmosphere changed following Fisher’s entrance in the fourth inning when she threw two strikeouts in a row. The young freshman showed no signs of nervousness and ended the inning without letting the Leopards score. 

“I was honestly a little nervous but I knew my team would back me up,” Fisher said. “We have some pretty great fielders out there, and I knew we could come back.”

Not only was her pitching exceptional, Fisher proceeded to hit an RBI double, giving the Tigers another run. Later, sophomore catcher Emma Prince hit a home run in the bottom of the sixth, giving the Tigers a two-run lead. Fisher did not allow any runs once she began to pitch and proved that the Tigers had the talent to come back from a four-run deficit.

“We fought back because we were down four runs and that was good but we just have to clean it up a little bit,” Prince said. “Tonight taught me that even when we’re down, always keep fighting.”

The final score was 9-7 with Texas High coming out on top. The Tigers will play Friday, March 12, 2021, at Hallsville.

“I had confidence in our hitters that we would be able to score some runs to catch up and then hopefully take the lead and they did that,” Hatfield said. “Overall it was a good night for us to win but also how we won. LE came to play, and I thought they played well.”