By VAN HOLLAND
THE DAILY SOUTHERNER
LEGGETT – Trying to get the team together to practice more than once a week has been a problem all season for North Edgecombe Lady Warrior coach Keith Parisher. The majority of his softball players also run track during the spring and they take one day a week out of their schedule to practice that sport.
In a double-header Wednesday against the Northampton Lady Jaguars, the Warriors showed early on why they need to practice more than once a week. But once they got the rust out of them, they were able to play up to Parisher's expectations and made an amazing comeback in the first game to win 17-12. They weren't as fortunate in the second game where they lost 6-5 in the last inning.
"I thought we hit the ball well today," Parisher said. "I think we played better defense then we have played all year."
The Warriors have been struggling making the routine plays, but Wednesday they were able to make them after they shook the rust off.
Parisher believes since they were able to practice as team Tuesday, that was most of the difference for them being able to compete like they did and be able to fight back and win the first game.
The Warriors had two bad innings between the two games, but the second bad inning caused them to lose. In the first game, the first inning was a nightmare for the Warriors. They committed four errors, which allowed the Jaguars to score seven runs that inning. But once they settled down and began to focus on what they were doing, then they were able to make the routine plays that Parisher knows his team is capable of making.
In the second game, leading 5-2 going into the bottom of the fifth inning, the Warriors fell apart again. Again it started with an error to begin the inning and resulted in three more being made, which resulted in the Jaguars scoring four runs in the inning to win.
"These girls have always fought for me and they don't give up," Parisher said. "They know all I am looking for is effort and as long as they don't walk to get a ball then that is a different story."
Parisher was pleased with his team's overall performance. He said he was put in a position where he had to put two of his outfielders in the infield, because other players had not shown up after spring break. The disadvantage of being able to practice everyday has resulted in the players still trying to become familiar with the positions they were put at to help adjust and make the team well rounded.
"We had to do some adjusting, but we will get there," Parisher said. "I have had to move people around to spots they aren't familiar with."
Alexandra Eatmon was the leader offensively. She was 3 for 6 with two RBI's and four runs scored in both games. Eatmon also pitched both games.
Marquisha Tucker added a punch offensively and was 3 for 6 with a two-run homer and had five RBI's and two runs scored, while Tia Sumler was 3 for 5 with three runs scored.
The Warriors have one more game remaining and with a win they could possibly move into third place in the Tar-Roanoke Conference, depending on how Northampton finishes their season.