Lady Bulldogs hold annual softball tournament

New Albany was tested by some of the area’s best teams and look ahead to what they can do in the remainder of their division schedule.

Hosting the New Albany Invitational at BNA Bank Park on Saturday, the Lady Bulldogs took on Belmont, Alcorn Central and Tupelo, finishing with a win in its first game and falling to the Lady Bears and Lady Wave.

In the first game against Belmont, the Lady Bulldogs had no problems hitting, as four players had multiple hits in the 13-3 win. Senior Shaneka Cullins had two doubles and an RBI to lead the offense, while Megan Dye, Shannon Goode and Kayla Pavlick each had two RBI and Dye had two hits. Lauren Cavender and Tamarria Ivy also had two hits each.

New Albany opened the second game against Alcorn Central building a 4-0 lead, but ultimately fell to the Lady Bears, 5-4. Alcorn Central tied the game in the sixth, and went ahead in that same inning. Lauren Cavender opened the bottom half of the inning with a double, but was later thrown out at home plate. New Albany had nine hits in that game and were led by Pavlick and Mallory Beaty, who each had two hits.

“It wasn’t good at all. We had so many mistakes mentally and physically and no life,” Lady Bulldogs’ coach Shane Sanderson said. “We sat out a game (after Belmont), so maybe they got laxed, but as ball players, they’ve got to come out and be ready to play. “

In the final game against Tupelo, the Lady Bulldogs tied the Lady Wave early in the game, but eventually fell, 4-1.

Abby Stafford scored the first run for the Lady Wave in the opening inning, and New Albany answered with Cullins bringing in the tying run. Tupelo went ahead in the second inning and added its last two runs in the sixth off a single from Katie Rieves and a Lady Bulldog error.

“Tupelo’s a really good team, and we knew they wouldn’t make a lot of mistakes,” Sanderson said. “We had a couple of plays that hurt us; lack of effort and base running were huge. We had too many pop ups, and we’ve been trying to preach and get a handle on that, but we haven’t gotten that yet.”

New Albany jumps back into division play on Monday, hosting North Pontotoc. The Lady Bulldogs need a win over the Lady Vikings or Shannon to make the playoffs.

“We’re 1-1 in division and we have North Pontotoc next week,” Sanderson said. “We have to beat them or Shannon, and we’d love to get them both so we can host in the playoffs. “