Earlier in this softball season, the Starkville Lady Yellow Jackets went to Madison Central and didn’t have a very good outing.
Starkville had a poor start and suffered a 19-0 decision in four innings.
The Lady Jackets hosted the Lady Jaguars on Tuesday night and the results were much better.
Even though SHS lost to Madison Central 7-0 in the second meeting of the season, there were some encouraging signs for head coach Ronald Campbell and company.
“It’s an improvement over last time,” Campbell said. “We were down quite a bit down there in the first inning and when they came up here, it was a little bit different. The girls competed. I was kind of proud with the way they competed. We made some good plays.”
The Lady Jaguars jumped out to a lead with a run in the first inning, then added two in the second and one more in the fourth to go up 4-0, but had a difficult time pulling away from the Lady Jackets.
Madison Central had a three-run fifth which was its biggest inning, but Starkville prevented the visitors from scoring in the fourth, sixth and seventh innings.
After Kyler Reeves went the first five innings in the circle for the Lady Jackets, Brianne Locke pitched the sixth and seventh and did not allow a run.
“i feel good any time I can come out for my team, provide for them and make sure I can pitch those strikes,” Locke said. “That way we can get in and get back to hitting.”
Starkville had opportunities offensively late in the game off Lady Jaguar pitcher Amber Grace Lucky.
In the sixth inning, Karlie Brooks doubled and Anna Brooks walked, but both runners were left stranded. Jaleeyah Armstead singled in the seventh and Kayla Williams walked, but the Lady Jackets failed to score again.
“When they got second and third and got runners in scoring position, they had base hits,” Campbell said. “We got runners in scoring position, we just couldn’t get anything going. That was the difference in the game.
“We just couldn’t come up with that big hit, but overall I’m proud of the way they competed. We’re getting better. It’s a work in progress.”
Armstead had two of the three hits for SHS as she added a single in the fifth.
“I’m proud of myself,” Armstead said about her contributions to the offense. “It makes me want to work harder.”
With the loss, the Lady Jackets fell to 5-4 overall and 2-3 in Class 6A, Region 3.
SHS will host Choctaw County on Thursday and it will be another opportunity to get better for Locke and her teammates.
“We’re working on getting everything all together,” Locke said. “Defense is pretty solid, but we’ve just got to come around with the bats a little more.”