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McKenzie Lady Tigers rack up 30 runs in pair of Hillcrest wins

McKenzie senior Danielle Scott braces for a catch at third base during Tuesday’s matchup with J.U. Blacksher.  The Lady Tigers lost to Blacksher 7-0, though the team found better results in a double header with Hillcrest Evergreen Thursday.

McKenzie senior Danielle Scott braces for a catch at third base during Tuesday’s matchup with J.U. Blacksher. The Lady Tigers lost to Blacksher 7-0, though the team found better results in a double header with Hillcrest Evergreen Thursday.

2016 has been a trying year for the McKenzie Lady Tigers, but the team began to see the light at the end of the tunnel Thursday evening with two spectacular back-to-back wins over the Hillcrest-Evergreen Lady Jaguars.

Though the first game with the Jaguars was a story of twists and turns, including a few major momentum shifts and lead changes, the Lady Tigers turned on the heat in the final inning and rallied to the tune of a five-run seventh inning that sealed the deal once and for all.

“We finally got bats going a little bit, and we started getting outs,” said McKenzie head softball coach Matt Coghlan.

“We had a few errors early in that first game, and we probably let them hang around longer than we should have, but they were playing hard, too.  I was glad the girls came out and fought and kept battling until we got a rally going and pulled ahead enough to take care of that one.”

The second game was far more decisive as the Lady Tigers mounted 18 runs in just three innings to end it early at 18-2.

“In the second game, I think we were almost error-free.  And we hit the ball really well,” Coghlan continued.

“It was definitely time.  I think they needed to go out and have a night like that were they go out and score more than 30 runs in two games because we’ve had several games were we’ve been shut out, and we haven’t produced much on offense.  So hopefully they’ll start to come together and we’re hitting it at the right time.”

Only six games remain on the schedule for the Lady Tigers.  Red Level is the final area obstacle for McKenzie, and the pair will square off Tuesday and Thursday of next week.

Another series awaits McKenzie as the team braces to face an opposing team of Lady Tigers of Luverne on the Tuesday and Thursday of the week after that.

Continuing the Tiger trend will be Greenville in the final week of April as the two local teams meet for the first time this season.

With area and region tournaments looming on the horizon in May, Coghlan said that it’s vital for the Lady Tigers to capitalize on the momentum in the next three weeks, regardless of a win or loss.

“As long as the ball we play makes us better, we’ll be fine,” Coghlan said.

“Nothing we’ve done so far is a determining factor in what we do postseason.  We’re still alive and well for that.

“We’ll have to see how we match up, but I think it’s all about us.  If we play as well as we can play, we can be pretty competitive.  We just haven’t been very consistent at times.  But if we can hit a stretch where we play consistent, good, sound defense and continue to hit, I think we’ll be fine.”