Smithville and Amory got off to winning starts and Aberdeen coach Joyce Lucas saw signs of an improving program as softball jamborees kicked off the 2010 slow-pitch season Saturday.
Smithville lost six starting seniors after going 19-7, 10-0 in Division 2-1A in 2009.
The Lady Seminoles, who open the season Tuesday at Hamilton, won two games in the Aberdeen Jamboree, 17-0 over West Lowndes and 17-2 over Aberdeen.
With three eighth graders in the starting lineup, senior Kami Roberts led off the game against West Lowndes with an inside-the-park home run. Lane Kennedy and Breanna Edgeworth had home runs of their own and pitcher Jennie Avery held the Lady Panthers scoreless in a four-inning win.
“We hit the ball fairly well,” Smithville coach Jeremy Duke said. “We’ve got a lot of young people in the lineup. We’ll see where it goes. The defense made some good plays. I think we’re going to be a lot better than people think.”
Amory watched the necessary bulk of the work on its remodeled field wrap up at 8:55 a.m. before its 9 a.m. jamboree got going.
The Lady Panthers beat Pontotoc 14-4 and Columbus 15-7.
Ashley Camp christened the new digs with a three-run shot over the new center field fence against Pontotoc. She added a two-run double and missed hitting the cycle by a single.
Against Columbus, Taylor Brasfield had a three-run triple in an 11-run first inning. Bailey Oswalt and Halee Hunter each had two RBIs in the inning. Catcher Harley Smith went 6 for 6 on the day.
The Lady Panthers finished 2009 at 16-10, losing at Newton County in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs.
“We swung the bat well for the first two games of the year,” coach Chris Pace said. “We played pretty good defense. We’ve got four seniors. They’re taking charge early.”
Kelcie Oswalt got both wins in the circle.
Amory hosts Pontotoc Tuesday night in a regular-season opener.
Aberdeen won one of two in its event, but second-year coach Lucas liked some things she saw in a 10-4 win against East Oktibbeha.
Tied at four in the second, Ebone Williams and Daisie Mcpherson walked with the bases loaded to break the tie and Jamisha Washington’s two-run single scored sister Jamika and Williams for an 8-4 lead. Aberdeen then got RBI groundouts from Nicole Williams and India Brasley.
“They played a little weak, not hitting it as strong as they should, but we’re coming on along,” Lucas said. “We’re early in the season.”
In Hatley, TCPS beat Tremont 22-11. Hatley beat Tremont 18-3 after an 18-1 win against TCPS.
n Scores, Page 2C
Brandon Speck / Monroe Journal