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GHS rallies, fends off Selma

A miracle diving catch sealed a Greenville victory over Selma as the Lady Tigers softball team secured a 13-12 victory in a nail-biter Thursday evening.

First-year Greenville head softball coach Brandon Smith said that things got off to an unusual start for the Lady Tigers at bat due to Selma’s unusually slow pitches.

“My girls are used to the softball being thrown pretty hard, but we had to adjust to it,” Smith said.

“[Selma’s pitches] were coming in at around 25 mph, and we just couldn’t get our timing down at the start of the game. But by the third or fourth inning, we started actually watching a few more pitches and we got a few hits here and there.”

Even after the adjustment, the Lady Tigers still faced a neck-and-neck race for runs with Selma that came to a crescendo late in the sixth inning.

Greenville had been thrown out at second and at home, leaving the game tied 11-11 at the bottom of the sixth with Selma’s bases loaded and two outs.

Then, a Greenville outfielder made a miraculous play.

“My centerfielder, Tankeya Smith, made an excellent diving catch to seal the game,” Smith said.

“We came back in, made a hit and we won the game 13-12.”

Smith, who enters his first year as Greenville’s head softball coach after leading the Greenville Parks and Rec 9-10 All-Stars to their first state championship, said that coaching high school softball has been a great experience so far, thanks in no small part to his players.

“My motto for this year is ‘trust the process,’” he said. I want them to know that when everything is going bad, I’m still trusting the process and knowing that they can get the job done.”

Greenville will have its work cut out next week as the team prepares for its first area game against perennial rival, Charles Henderson.

“I feel pretty good about it,” Smith said. “I told my girls that all we’ve got to do is hit the ball hard and play great defense.  I tell them all the time that we can win a game 0-0 all day. It’s all about who scores that first run.  I tell them before, during and after the game to trust the process, and we’ll get the job done.”

Greenville will square off with Charles Henderson Tuesday at home beginning at 5 p.m.