The old ballpark isn’t holding too many of those fly balls soaring off the booming bat of Barkley Logan this softball season.
The David Lipscomb junior has belted 10 home runs, believed to be a Nashville best, propelling the Mustangs full speed ahead as they enter next week’s district tournament. Simply, she has flexed her muscles and the ball is jumping off Logan’s bat, as she has twice belted two homers in one game in Lipscomb’s 21-11 season.
A vigorous off-season training campaign Barkley began last year is paying off with major benefits. She’s far exceeded what would be expected of the normal No. 4 cleanup batter.
“I started the training regimen with my father (Mike Logan, a former standout pitcher for Freed-Hardeman),’’ Logan said. “It’s three times a week, I’ll do weightlifting one day, exercising one day, even hiking to build up my endurance another day. I’ve heard so many players in college say if they could go back to high school and lift weights and train, they would definitely do it.’’
Logan, a third baseman/pitcher, has trouble understanding her homer barrage.
“I really can’t believe it myself. I first really noticed I was stronger when I hit two home runs in a game against CPA,’’ she said.
Later this month, she belted two more in a 3-1 win during the Duff Tournament in Cookeville.
“My father’s support is the real reason for all this. He’s my inspiration and has been my junior coach ever since I started playing softball,’’ she said. “My number (No. 2) is the one he wore.’’
Closing on school record
Interestingly, Logan is closing in on the school record, set by her good friend and teammate, junior first baseman Lydia Biggerstaff, who hit 12 last year. She has four this season.
“We joke about it (the record), and we have fun with it,’’ Logan said. “She is so happy when I hit one, and if she hits one, I’m happy for her, too.”
She says the important thing is, if we’re hitting home runs, it’s helping the team win.
“Last year, Barkley hit a lot of line drives which would get in the alley for doubles.’’ said 23-year veteran Coach Gary Davis. “This year, she’s hitting them over the fence.’’
Going into the final regular season game at Greenbrier, Logan was batting .450, with 29 RBI, four doubles, one triple with the 10 homers — all team highs.
“Last year, she hit 300 with four homers,’’ Davis said. “Then last fall, she put a lot of time in the work program, really building up her strength. She’s worked really hard with her father Mike. As a result, she’s really put up some big power numbers.’’
Oh, by the way, she’s a pretty good pitcher, too, compiling a 9-3 record.
“She’s a very good pitcher, even though she’s more known for her hitting,’’ Davis said.
And Logan has a reason to be on the mound.
“I love to pitch, because when you’re out there, you’re in control of how the game is going, literally every pitch,’’ she said.
Ezell-Harding (14-0 district) and Lipscomb (12-2), the 1-2 finishers in District 9-AA, got byes and don’t play until Monday’s action which is at Trevecca.
600 wins for Davis: After a morning game last Saturday in the Bowling Green, Ky., tournament, Lipscomb principal Mark Pugh walked up to the team meeting and said he had an announcement to make.
“I thought it was to tell us where we were going to eat lunch,’’ Davis said. “Instead, he pulls out this softball, with ‘600’ inscribed on it (representing Davis’ 600th win). I was stunned, I had no idea.
“My seniors, Rachel Pugh and Brittany Dillingham, came up and hugged me and told me they were part of both my 500th and 600th wins at Lipscomb,’’ said Davis whose teams have won three state titles and had two runner-up finishes. “I’ve had some great players and a wonderful assistant in Jill Knott.’’
Baseball/Softball tourneys open: Tournament week has arrived time, with opening round games this weekend in baseball and softball. Play-in and satellite games start at home sites Thursday and Friday. Double-elimination play begins next week.
City track meet: Some of the area’s top coaches and officials were honored during the 50th anniversary of the annual City Track and Field recently at Harpeth Hall.
Honored were Don Hamilton, the meet’s first director in 1960, Optimist Club and meet director Kevin Marchetti, longtime Harpeth Hall coach Susan Russ, who brought the meet to Harpeth Hall in 2003, and officials Melvin Black, Tommy Griffith, Randall Tidwell, Doug Trotter, Butch Stewart, Steve Swift, Jim Nollner and Bill Compton.
MBA won its fourth straight boys championship, with Hunters Lane second, and Ensworth captured the girls’ title, ahead of M.L. King.
Gioia wins Penn Relays heptathlon: Gabby Gioia, competing for North Carolina, followed up her recent Atlantic Coast Conference heptathlon championship in Miami by capturing the Penn Relays heptathlon title last Wednesday. The former Harpeth Hall standout scored 5,159 points to easily win the Penn event.
Daniel headed to Rhodes: Lipscomb running back Harrison Daniel has signed to play football at Rhodes College. Before suffering a season-ending ACL injury in the fifth game, Daniel racked up 495 yards and 11 TDs for the Mustangs and made all region. He has a 3.8 GPA.
MBA netters eye state: Montgomery Bell Academy is setting its sights on Division II state in tennis after finishing in third place in the Carter Memorial tournament over the weekend on the MBA courts.
The individual singles/doubles tournament will be in Chattanooga Baylor May 9-10. If MBA finishes in top three in the team race, the Big Red will host a sectional match the following week, with that winner advancing to state in the team competition.
Palmer Campbell was the lone MBA player to win a Carter title, taking the No. 3 singles crown. Palmer and Richard Brunsting reached the No. 2 doubles final before falling.
Undefeated and defending state champ McCallie won with 27 points to edge MUS (22½) and MBA (21½) in the A division. MUS won the B division.
Sweeney wins third crown: Lipscomb’s Kirstyn Sweeney won the A/AA Sectional girls pentathlon for the third straight year last week at FRA. She’ll be gunning for her second state title next month at MTSU.