Lady ‘Nets survive first-round scare in area tourney

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 3, 2005

The Dallas County High

school Lady Hornets have the opportunity to do something that not many of their counterparts in this area have been able to do – advance to the sub-regional tournament starting next week. The only thing that stands in their way is a team that has beaten them on three separate occasions.

The Jemison High School Lady Panthers have had Dallas County’s number during the regular season and continued to hold their edge during the first round of the tournament.

This afternoon, however, coach Lucas Weatherford looks to change things.

Weatherford plans to throw his ace, Jessica Melton in the must-win game for the Lady Hornets.

What a better time to knock a team out of the tournament then in the finals of the consolation bracket.

The area tournament is played double-elimination style. Right now the only team that can say that they aren’t going to sub-regional is Greensboro, thanks to a 12-2 victory by Dallas County on Tuesday afternoon.

DCHS and Jemison both have one loss each and will play each other this afternoon at 4 p.m.

The loser goes home and the winner advances to a best of three series with Demopolis High School. The winner of that game will be declared area champion and will host the runner-up of the Demopolis v. Thomasville game.

The loser of the final will travel to the winner of their cross area, either Demopolis or Thomasville.

In the area tournament, Dallas County opened things up with a 2-0 loss to Jemison. Melton took the loss after going seven innings and giving up one earned run. The Lady Panthers put a runner on base due to an error and then pushed her across with a triple, one of a handful of hits given up by the ‘Nets ace.

But, that wasn’t the only error in the game, the Lady Hornets combined for four errors in the game, but Melton, Ashley Wilson and Courtney Lambert battled and recorded hits.

In the elimination game against Greensboro, Melton notched the win and Whitley Mott earned the save. Melton pitched four innings of one-run softball while recording six strikeouts.

Mott took over and carried the game through the sixth inning when the Lady Hornets were able to 10-run their opponents.

Melton helped herself out at the plate with a double that netted four RBI.

Rachel Coley and Jennifer McIlwain both finished the night 3-for-4.

For Weatherford and the Lady Hornets, this afternoon’s gameplan is simple – "We’ve got to win that first game,&uot; said Weatherford.