Lady Panthers, Lady Lions compete in softball jamboree

TUPELO – Two softball teams got off to an early start with preseason games on Saturday as Amory and Hamilton both traveled to the Mooreville Jamboree at Veterans Park in Tupelo.
Amory split its two four-inning varsity games – beating last year’s North 2A runnerup Baldwyn 10-9 and falling to Mooreville 7-3 in the nightcap.
Amory coach Amir Hunt was pleased with his team’s performance at the jamboree.
“I don’t think we could have been any better than we were offensively,” Hunt said. “The fact that we had to throw eight pitchers because of the rules hindered us a bit, but I thought we did well and battled through. Some of our girls weren’t even aware they were going to have to pitch until yesterday.”
The Lady Panthers lose just two starters from last season in shortstop Paige Earnest and third baseman Harley Smith.
With no seniors this year, Amory is anchored by juniors Bailey Oswalt, Bailey Boyd, Shelby Thornton and starting pitcher Josie Booth.
“I feel very confident about in Josie. She pitched her two innings today in the win against Baldwyn. I think out of six outs, she had three or four strikeouts. She did very well today,” Hunt said.
In the game against Mooreville, Bailey Oswalt led off with a single and came around to score on the throw on a Bailey Boyd groundout in the first inning.
In the third inning, Madeline Dean led off the inning with a single and was erased by Gabby Hall’s fielder’s choice. Hall scored on another single by Oswalt, who came home when Boyd was caught stealing after a walk.
The Lady Panthers open the season officially on Saturday at the East Webster Classic.
“I’m proud of the girls. They’ve worked their tails off for three weeks, and I think it showed today,” Hunt said.

Hamilton swept by Tishomingo County, Houston
The Lady Lions were swept in a 4-0 loss to Houston and a 6-3 loss to Tishomingo County, but Hamilton coach Bryan Loague found positives in his team’s performance on Saturday, particularly in pitching where they’re replacing departed senior Lexus Jordan.
“We still have a long way to go, but I think we’re going to be okay,” Loague said. “There were a lot of positives we found out of today, pitching being one of them.
“We had Taylor (Hyland) and Addie (Thompson) both throwing, and I think they both did a decent job today.”
In the four-inning game against Tishomingo County, Hamilton scored all three of its runs in the third inning.
Kaley Loague drew a one walk with one out, and Taylor Hyland sent her home with an RBI single. Addie Thompson followed her up with a run-scoring single of her own, and Alison Atkins sent her home with a two-out single.
With Hamilton still in the girls’ basketball playoffs, the Lady Lions are still missing two of their starting outfielders in Cheyenne Logan and Myiah Dobbs.
“Once we get them back, it will be a whole different outfield,” Loague said. “It beat us in the first game and cost us a little in the second, so once we get them back, we’re going to be fine, and we’ll throw Cheyenne into the mix pitching.”
Loague said he thinks there’s still plenty of work to be done in the hitting department.
“We’re still out in front of the ball, and we still don’t have everything worked out from slowpitch to fast. There’s still a long way to go, but I know that my top six are going to hit the ball,” Loague said.