His Lady Tigers (3-0), still finding their way after the loss of six seniors from last season's Class 3A title team, did just enough, scoring two runs in the third inning of a 2-0 win against Mantachie on Tuesday night.
"We just didn't play today. We didn't show up," Rhea said. "If you don't show up, anybody at any given time can beat you. This is slow-pitch softball, one of the simplest games you can play, especially at the plate."
Over in a little more than an hour, the teams combined for only 11 hits, six of them Nettleton's.
Molly Bramlett and Lauren Baldwyn led the third inning off with singles. Chelsea Tucker reached on an error to score Bramlett and Hayley Parker's flyout scored Baldwyn for the deciding runs.
"It's 12 miles an hour and 11 inches round," Rhea said. "You're supposed to be able to hit the thing and we just didn't hit it. Right now we just lack a lot of leadership and until that changes, we're going to struggle. We've got good players and they're going to get the job done. It's still early and that's what we're banking on. We're going to get it done."
Mantachie (6-3) had its best chance with two outs in the top of the seventh. Taylor Barber singled to open the inning and with two outs, Brittany Adams doubled. Nettleton pitcher Anna Kent then got Alli Devaughn to line out to Parker to end the game with the tying runs in scoring position.
"It's slow-pitch softball," Mantachie coach Bryan Loague said. "You've got to hit. Ten pop-ups out of the first 15 outs, you're not supposed to win. We didn't hit the ball until the sixth inning. We had chances in the sixth and seventh to score, just didn't come through."
Four of Mantachie's five hits came in the final two innings.
Nettleton got back-to-back singles from Kaleigh Tackett and Korie Beth Leach in the fourth, but failed to score. Mantachie got back-to-back two-out singles from Shanna Carnathan and Mallory Clause in the sixth before a groundout to short ended the inning.