Patriots seventh, Lady Trojans ranked No. 8

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 5, 2002

Sports Editor

Both the Pike Liberal Arts School boy’s baseball team and the Charles Henderson Lady Trojans’ softball team are ranked in the first spring sports poll, released by the Birmingham News and the Alabama Sports Writers Association late Wednesday night.

The Patriots enter the AISA poll at No. 7, with region opponents Lee-Scott (No.1) and Glenwood (No. 3) also in the top ten.

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"It’s something nice for them and they deserve it," said PLAS head coach Butch Austin about his team’s 11-4 record and state ranking. "These boys work hard and they deserve any attention they get. Of course, being ranked isn’t everything, but it’s nice to be recognized."

Austin said this year’s squad is one of the better hitting teams he’s seen during his tenure and that’s one of the main reasons for the Patriots success.

"One through nine, this is probably the best hitting team we’ve had," he said. "But I don’t think we’re as powerful as the ’96 team."

In 1996, Pike Lib collected over 30 home runs with David Nelson’s season-high 11 leading the way.

The Patriots head to Auburn today for a regional battle against top-ranked Lee-Scott Academy and the state’s best pitcher, Alabama signee, Allan Ponder.

CHHS (16-10) is No. 8 in the Class 5A/4A girl’s softball poll, a little something to sooth the pain of dropping four of its last five games prior to Thursday night’s win over Jeff Davis.

"It feels good to know we’re getting some recognition," said CHHS head coach Steve Haug. "We’re young and we’re playing good softball. And I think that just means good things for the future. I’m excited. We just have to keep them going and that’s why I’m so proud of this win, (over Jeff Davis), because we were starting to slip a little bit."