Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

Lady Pioneers proved to be a tough adversary for Lady Longhorns

Continuing their summer league action, the Johnson County Lady Longhorns faced off against the neighboring Watauga County Lady Pioneers last week in Happy Valley. Playing a double header of two five inning games, the Lady Longhorns got the much needed opportunity to get some game time together against a very tough opponent. After losing four players from this season’s senior class, the team has also recently faced the loss of several starters who have moved out of the county, most recently pitcher Cindy Eddington.
Coupled with a large influx of next year’s freshmen, the Lady Longhorns are working hard to become a unified team, a fact that Coach Lisa Mullins readily identifies. “Part of the problem right now is just for them to play together. You have to play game after game to get used to one another, to know that ‘hey the ball is up, she’ll get it, I’ll cover’, that sort of thing. We now have six out of nine starters on varsity that are gone, but you just have to rebuild and this is how you do it,” Mullins said.
Struggling to find their bearings on the field in the first round, the Lady Pioneers proved a tough adversary for the Lady Longhorns, keeping them off the scoreboard while racking up a whopping 16 runs. More impressively, the majority of those runs came from only a couple of innings, with an excellent early performance by Hope Nelson on the pitchers mound, keeping Watauga at bay for the first inning.
Unfortunately Johnson County simply had no luck when it came to offense and landed very little contact on the ball, keeping them from countering Watauga’s gains. Incoming Freshman Brianna Snyder took over pitching following the fourth inning, allowing Nelson to move back onto the field, but even changes on the defensive positions couldn’t combat the damage that the Lady Pioneers had already done. Determined to do better in the next round, the Lady Longhorns closed out the first game with a disappointing 0-16 shutout. According to Coach Mullins, “Watauga is a very good team. We didn’t even see their varsity pitcher. Needless to say we didn’t do very well the first time hitting. We made some mistakes but you’ve just got to play, just have to see pitchers like that to get better.”
The Lady Longhorns started the second game off on a little better note, with outfielder Caitlin Westphal stealing her way around the bases to eventually get the first Johnson County run of the night. Westphal also performed very well on defense making several amazing catches, including a very close jumping save on a ball that went flying into left field.
Overall the Johnson County offense seemed very determined to make a good showing at the plate and eventually incoming freshman Jaime Jennings landed the hit she needed to become the second Lady Longhorn to take home. The Johnson County girls stepped up defensively as well in the second game, holding the Lady Pioneers back as best they could and keeping the win within reach through the whole game. Brianna Snyder kept up a strong pitching performance, while some return players including Kallie Sluder on second also made some excellent saves.
To read the entire article, pick up a copy of this week's Tomahawk.