TUPELO – No matter if it’s by 10 runs or one run, Nettleton coach Dana Rhea will take any kind of win in a season opener.
Rhea’s Lady Tigers, the defending Class 3A state champions, opened the 2010 slow-pitch softball season Tuesday with a 7-5 win over Tupelo. Nettleton, featuring six new starters, led 7-1 after five innings but had to stop a Lady Wave rally in the final inning to lock up win No. 1.
“With so many new faces in the lineup, we need some experience,” Rhea said. “But a win is a win. We’ll take those anytime we can.”
Nettleton was scheduled to play a MHSAA Classic games this past weekend in Hamilton, but they were canceled because of lightning. Tupelo played two games – both losses – in its own tournament Saturday.
The Lady Tigers, however, took charge in a steady rain behind three RBI hits: Anna Kent’s two-run triple in the second, Michelle Hester’s two-run homer over the left-field fence in the fourth and Jessica Patterson’s three-run double in the fifth.
“We’ve got some good young kids that have a lot of heart and play really hard,” he said. “We’ve got to get some experience under our belts.”
Nettleton’s new-look lineup gained some experience in how to stop an opponent’s comeback.
Tupelo, down 7-2 entering the seventh, put six straight batters on first in the inning and drove in three on Daniqua Cornelious’ double, Mollie Tidwell’s single and Katie Cole’s fielder’s choice. But with Tupelo’s potential game-winning run at the plate, Nettleton ended the game with a forceout at second base.
Bobby Pepper/NEMS Daily Journal