Lady Tigers sweep Jess Lanier for substate championship

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 20, 2000

The sound play of the Greenville High School Lady Tigers' softball team continued this week as they breezed through another round of the state playoffs, this time defeating Jess Lanier High School to claim the substate championship. They qualify as one of the eight teams from across the state to compete for the state title this weekend.

In a best-of-three series against Jess Lanier, the Lady Tigers outscored their competition 25-4 in two games.

In the first game, Sophia Ruffin scored the first run in the bottom of the first on an RBI hit by Tabitha Lawley.

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Jess Lanier tied the game in the top of the second, 1-1.

In the bottom of the third, Greenville ran away from Jess Lanier by scoring five runs. Jade Hill, Ruffin, Velecia McKee, Lawley and SaRhonda Hawkins all came around to score to make the score 6-1.

In the fourth, the Lady Tigers added to their lead by scoring five more runs by Claire Shrantz, Ruffin, McKee, Lawley and Hawkins to give them a comfortable 11-1 lead going into the fifth.

But, Jess Lanier was able to keep the game going by scoring two runs in the top of the fifth, cutting the lead to 11-3.

The two runs only prolonged the inevitable as the only scoring in the last two innings was one scored by the Lady Tigers in the bottom of the sixth as Crystal Parmer scored on a basehit by Shrantz.

Parmer earned the victory as pitcher for the Lady Tigers.

Lawley and Hawkins led the way offensively as both went three for four. K. Crenshaw went two for three and J. Crenshaw and McKee went two for four in the game.

The second game of the series was a continuation of the first as the Lady Tigers used a nine-run fourth to defeat Jess Lanier by a final score of 13-1.

Playing as the visiting team, GHS scored the first run of the game in the top of the second as J. Crenshaw scored on a bashit by Kalette Mixon.

But, Jess Lanier came right back with a score to tie the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the inning.

In the third, Ruffin gave Greenville the lead again. After reaching on a single, Ruffin later scored on a triple by Hawkins, making the score 2-1.

The score remained the same until the top of the fourth when nine straight Lady Tigers reached and scored. Hill, Ruffin, McKee, Lawley, Hawkins, K. Crenshaw, J. Crenshaw, Mixon and Shae Hartman all scored as Greenville took a 11-1 lead.

Greenville finished off Jess Lanier in the sixth with two runs by Ruffin and McKee to make the final 13-1 and securing a place in this weekend's state playoffs.

Hartman earned the victory as pitcher for the Lady Tigers.

Mixon and Ruffin led Greenville with three hits each.

The Lady Tigers have surprised some with the way they have played through the second half of the season. They have now won 16 of their last 20 games, after beginning the season with a 4-17 record.

"Things seemed to have turned around for us during the spring break," head coach Russell McCartey said. "At that time the players made a commitment that they were going to turn things around. They began to play harder and it has showed when we started to win more games."

McCartey said he felt his team always had the ingredients of a winning team.

"I thought they had the talent. Earlier in the season, I do not think they were playing to their full potential and ability. What they have been doing the past few weeks has not surprised me. Now they have a lot of confidence in themselves which will help when we play the teams in the state tournament," he said.

The Lady Tigers first game of the tournament was scheduled for 9 a.m. on Friday against Athens in Fain Park in Montgomery. If they win, they will take on the winner of the Wilcox-Central v. Dallas County game at 3 p.m. If they were to lose, they would play the loser of that game at 3 p.m.