The bats are starting to get hot for David Lipscomb’s softball team.
Since losing three of four in the Brentwood Lady Bruin Classic in late March, Lipscomb has scored 64 runs in five straight District 10-AA wins, four of them via the mercy rule.
Yet, in a 15-0 romp over Whites Creek last Wednesday, the Mustangs (7-3) finally hit their first homers of the season.
Heavy hitters Barkley Logan (who set the school record last year with 13) and Lydia Biggerstaff are two of the career leaders in home runs for Lipscomb. The seniors each hit one in the win over Whites Creek.
“Those were the first two home runs we’ve hit fair; we’ve hit a couple that went foul,” coach Gary Davis said, laughing. “We’ve hit a bunch of triples and doubles, but no homers until (Wednesday).
“We’re still growing. We’re certainly better than we were when we started practice six weeks ago. We’re learning our roles, how to hit, how to pitch and gaining knowledge of the game. Our seniors have really stepped up in terms of leadership.”
Whitney Wood went 3-for-3 with two RBIs and Logan was 2-for-2 and three RBIs with her homer. Logan (3-1) pitched a mini-perfect game, retiring all nine batters she faced in the three-inning, run-ruled game, striking out five. Versatile Lauren Bonte plays in the infield and also catches.
All of that has helped lift Lipscomb to 6-0 in the district.
“We’ve all really hitting the ball well lately,’’ Biggerstaff, a UT-Martin signee, said. “Barkley, Mackenzie Lehmer and Whitney Wood are all really hitting and the whole lineup has come on great.”
Next up is Lipscomb’s biggest district game of the season – a first-place showdown with Hume-Fogg Academic, 4:30 p.m. Monday at Lipscomb’s Burton Field.
“They always play us tough, especially when they come over here,” Davis said. “They beat us like 1-0 or 2-1 last year. I’m anxious to see how we play when really good clubs like Hume-Fogg push us out of our comfort zone.”
Lipscomb has feasted on some of the other teams like Maplewood, Stratford and Whites Creek. Another district foe, Pearl-Cohn has dropped its softball as well as baseball programs.
After games with Hume-Fogg, Ryan and MLK, comes the Sonic Invitational at Franklin Fly Park Friday and Saturday.
“It’s how well you do against good pitchers, how well you play defense, how you handle the situation,” Davis said. “That defines good teams.”
Wood sets the table for Lipscomb
Leadoff batter Whitney Wood has set the table nicely for Lipscomb, with all the napkins, knives and forks and base hits in place.
The last two games, she has gone 8-for-8, with three doubles and five singles, pushing her batting average well over .600.
“I’ve made it priority to focus on hitting and doing my very best my senior year,” Wood who patrols shortstop and second base, said.
She also has some added motivation.
“I’ve dedicated my last two seasons to my close friend Elizabeth Patton,” Wood added, referring to the former Ravenwood High player who died tragically in November of 2008 due to a rare skin disorder, known as TEN syndrome.
“This year, the whole focus is trying to get to state,” she said. “We had a disappointing end to the season last year.”
Last May, Lipscomb swept a twin bill at Ezell-Harding on a makeup Sunday to clinch the district title, but was eliminated just a day later in the region tourney by Marshall County.
Smith ouster is stunner at BGA
One of the more surprising and very sad developments this spring in high school sports saw the end of the 36-year tenure for Battle Ground Academy basketball coach Gary Smith last week.
Smith, who was forced into resignation, has been the virtual face of BGA sports over the last 3½ decades. It is believed he has won well over 600 games at the school and guided BGA to their only two state basketball championships in 1993 and ’94.
“I have no idea the number of wins over the years. I never scheduled for wins – maybe I should have – I just tried to make our team better,” Smith said recently.
Under Smith, BGA won consecutive Class A (prior to DII) state championships, finishing 33-0 in ’93. The next year, they beat future college stars Ron Mercer (who played in the NBA) and Drew Maddux of Goodpasture in overtime in the finals.
Smith took BGA to 10 state tourneys, but the team fell off slightly in recent years. The Wildcats’ last state appearance came in ’06 when they lost in the quarterfinals during a season when they beat eventual champ Brentwood Academy and future NBA player Brandan Wright.
There’s some major shaking going in the BGA athletic department. Tim Johnson resigned as football coach and athletic earlier this year, replaced by Marty Euverard. In late March, Robert Jemison took over for Johnson as AD and will begin his tenure on July 1. Then Smith’s departure.
As a blogger said in a post: “Gary Smith was a perfect fit for BGA. The school made a mistake on this one. This was a very unfortunate choice.”
Moss-Oliver finalists announced
The awards committee has announced the six finalists (three boys, three girls) for the annual Moss-Oliver basketball award. Winners will be presented at a luncheon 11:30 a.m., Wednesday at Swett’s Restaurant, sponsored by the City Civitan Club.
The boys finalists: Austin Gardenhire (M.L. King), Dezmond Johnson (Overton) and Matt Zelenik (CPA). Girls finalists: Julia Johnston (DCA), Anna Mitchell (CPA) and Courtney Searcy (Antioch).
Other Metro events this week include the Metro Hall of Fame luncheon Tuesday at Titans Stadium banquet room at 11 a.m., also the Metro all-region basketball banquet Thursday at 6 p.m. at Springhouse Golf Course banquet room.
Nashville Christian Golf Scramble May 1
Nashville Christian School has announced a Golf Scramble, to be held as a fund-raiser for school athletics, will be held Saturday, May 1 at Harpeth Hills course with a shotgun start that morning. For information, call the school, 356-5600.
Metro football vacancies remain open
Metro athletic director Scott Brunette reminds the deadline for applying for the open East Literature and Maplewood head football coaching vacancies is April 20. Those interested should call Brunette at his office, 259-8783.