On a cool and rainy spring day in Paris, the Lady Eagles hosted the Charleston Lady Tigers in an important conference divisional game. It would be the first divisional game for both schools and would signal the start of the drive to make the post-season playoffs. Light rain fell for much of the game, but the entire game was completed and the infield remained playable without any stoppage in play to cover the field.
Charleston appeared to take an early first inning lead on what seemed to be an RBI hit by Rylee Ross. But in the first of many controversial plays and calls by the umpire crew, the runner was called out, and Paris escaped the first inning without giving up a run.
Charleston coach Ryan Myers commented on the play, “Rylee Ross had a good hit in the first, and if we catch a couple breaks here and there, it could have made a difference in the ball game.” In fact, the call in the first inning that nullified the Charleston run was the first of many such controversial calls in the game.
Paris senior Jadyn Hart was again dominant in the circle, going the distance for the shut-out win. Hart also had a late game home run that cleared the left field fence with plenty of distance.
The Lady Eagles’ offense was a combination of “small ball”, bunting base runners into scoring position, and timely big hits by the two Jadyns, Jadyn Hart and Jadyn Wells.
Paris coach Donald Hart said after the game, “I am proud of how we came out of spring break week ready to play. I thought we had a well-rounded ball game, both defensively and offensively. The offense did a good job of putting the ball into play and allowing us to utilize our speed on the base path. We got to start conference divisional play today, and we have to keep grinding to get better.”
Charleston pitcher Caddence Wibbing pitched well for the Lady Tigers, but fell victim in part to defensive miscues that allowed big innings for Paris. Coach Myers said, “Cadence Wibbing pitched a good game; the defense just let her down a couple of times.”
Overall, Coach Myers was pleased with the Lady Tigers’ effort, but noted that they have some things to clean up moving forward in the divisional schedule. “I thought we played hard, but you can’t make mistakes like we did against good teams like Paris. I told our girls that we have to get better fundamentally in the field to not make those mistakes…if we do that, we will win. It’s still early and we have a lot of season left.”
And Coach Myers is right, there is a lot of season left for all schools in the conference. As March ends, teams now enter the meat of their schedules in April, and all teams will be looking to string wins together and march toward the post-season tournaments. So many factors can influence a softball season for any team, including weather, injuries, and momentum. Hopefully, as the state’s COVID infection rate numbers continue to decline, perhaps the teams will not have to deal with postponements or cancellations due to the pandemic.
The Lady Eagles will take the field at home again on Thursday when they host the Hackett Lady Hornets in another important divisional game. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m. The baseball Eagles will also host the Hornets in Paris on Thursday. As of publication time, the Eagles are set to throw out the first pitch at 4:30 p.m.
Charleston will travel to Cedarville on Thursday to play the Lady Pirates. Game time is 4:30 p.m. The Lady Tigers will be looking to right the ship after a disappointing loss on Tuesday. Charleston has posted wins against Lavaca, Danville, and Waldron, and have now suffered losses to Cossatot River, Dover, Booneville, and Paris. The only loss that is a factor for the Lady Tigers is the loss to Paris. The Paris game was the first divisional game for Charleston and is the only loss that plays a factor in the Lady Tigers post-season hopes. Thursday’s game is huge for Charleston and their divisional standing. It should be a good one in Cedarville on Thursday.
Resident Press will again be in Paris on Thursday to cover the baseball Eagles and their game with Hackett. Watch for the story on this game in Friday afternoon’s online edition of Resident Press.
Additional photos of the Lady Eagles game with Charleston are now available on Facebook at Paris Eagles Sports. Fans from both schools are welcomed to visit the page and copy any of the photos at no charge.
The conference season is young, and Resident Press wishes both Paris and Charleston the best of luck as they play the remainder of their conference schedules. Come out to the ballparks in either Paris or Cedarville on Thursday to catch these teams in action. But make sure you bring a coat; the later innings could be very cool on Thursday afternoon!
See you at the ballpark on Thursday!