PLAS softball drops three straight

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 20, 2001

Sports Writer

After coming up with its biggest area win of the season on Thursday afternoon against Lee-Scott Academy, the Pike Liberal Arts Lady Patriots found the going rough this past weekend losing three consecutive games at the Edgewood Academy Spring Break Bash Fast Pitch Softball Tournament in Millbrook.

Fortunately for the Patriots, the Alabama Independent School Association doesn’t allow wins and losses in midseason tournaments to count on the regular season record, which leaves PLAS with a 3-1 overall mark and 2-1 in area play heading into this week’s action.

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Facing some stiff competition in one of the state’s premiere midseason AISA fast pitch tournaments, the Lady Patriots were defeated by 2000

2A AISA champ Edgewood (13-3), Lowndes Academy (4-2) in pool play Friday night before being eliminated in Saturday’s single elimination tournament by 3A ’00 slow pitch champion Faith Academy 11-0.

The Lady Patriots were also faced with the obstacle of dealing with a 1 hour 15 minute time limit (for the Edgewood Tournament only) due to having six teams playing on just one field.

PLAS head coach Mendy Avant said dealing with something which isn’t a factor in a regular game made the task more frustrating for the Lady Patriots.

"We were playing on just one field so all of the teams could get finished," Avant said. "But it’s hard when you are not used to it. The Lowndes Academy game was in the third inning

when it was called and we could have came back (to win). But the girls knew it was going to be tough because Faith won the state in slow pitch last year and Macon-East beat Lowndes to win the state title (in fast pitch), so we knew we were playing good teams."

Despite the setbacks, Avant said this weekend’s tournament in Millbrook could benefit the Lady Patriots later in the season.

"The tournament was good experience for us because we’re not going to get any better just playing teams you can beat."

As far as the play on the field by the Lady Patriots were concerned, Avant said she was satisfied with Pike’s pitching and defense but not with the offense.

"Our pitcher (Audrey Adams) pitched well, but the umpires wanted lower strikes than what she was throwing," Avant said. "She had good location, but the pitches were higher than what they wanted. The girls played fairly well defensively, but our hitting wasn’t as strong as it could have been. We made some errors at the plate that we have to work on. Tournament softball is hard to play when you have a young team like us."

Another thing that has hurt the Lady Patriots this month is the on and off again rainy March weather. Avant said the weather has hampered the Lady Patriots already this season with two games having already been rained out.

"The weather has been tough because we can’t go into the gym and hit, plus it’s wet around the batting cages," Avant said. "When you have two practice days in between games and it rains, you are in trouble. I try to get the team to do some things before the game if we ever get rained out."

Wet Monday

Monday’s regularly scheduled baseball and softball games between the Patriots and Dixie Academy was postponed due to rain. The games will be made up Wednesday at 3 p.m. on the PLAS campus.