Lady ‘Cats take ‘successful trip’ to TennesseePublished 6:00am Wednesday, April 2, 2014
The Edgewood Lady Wildcats went 3-2 at the Warrior Classic in Murfreesboro, Tenn. over the weekend.
Playing four teams from Tennessee and one from Illinois, all public schools, EA made history by being the first-ever girls team of any sports at the school to play outside of Alabama.
The Lady Wildcats opened the tournament 0-2, dropping both games on Thursday to Lake Zurich (Ill.) 8-6 and Smyrna (Tenn.), who won the 3A state championship last season, 12-3.
But EA bounced back, defeating all three of its opponents on Friday.
“We showed up Friday morning with a whole new mindset and just beasted it up,” Edgewood head coach Fawn Sims said.
The tourney culminated with the Edgewood beating Ravenwood (Tenn.), a school with 2,500 enrolled students.
“That game against Ravenwood, they did not like getting beat,” Sims said. “We jumped on them 5-0 and never looked back. We beat them 11-7. It was one of those high-intense ballgames I’ve ever coached. It was so fun. It was great to see them play that way.”
Pitcher Kelsey Hartley not only shined in the circle, but offensively as well to lead her team. While she gave up seven runs on as many hits, Hartley struck out eight batters in five innings work. At the dish, she had three RBIs on two hits.
Kallie Johnson added two RBIs with two hits.
Sims scheduled the Warrior Classic to see how her girls would respond. She came away impressed.
“Half of these girls have never played big tournament ball like that and I expected half of them to shy down a little bit,” she said. “They didn’t, they just stepped up there like big girls that had been doing it for years. I was impressed because that let me know that they’re buying into what we do. And that’s what the goal is. I was very pleased with the tournament, very successful trip for us. Beating a couple of public schools out of state doesn’t hurt putting us on the map.”
After losing the first two games, Sims said she was concerned about her team’s psyche. But the girls came together to shutout its first two foes Friday, Kenwood 8-0 and Tullahoma 3-0.
“What I saw was us come together as one unit and we played together as one team, which is what we’ve been striving for three seasons,” Sims said. “It’s a relief as a coach to see everything we’ve been stressing to them, not just the physical part of the game but the mental part. That’s where we really went a next level up.
“Like I told before we left, you’ve got to put your big-girl pants on and get ready to play because we’re going to see some competition.”