Yo-yo season continues for Central softball team

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By Mark Clark

Just when things begin to look good for the Central High Lady Red Devils, the yo-yo string snaps back the other way. A week after the team moved into the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s poll of Class 7A Top 10 teams at No. 5 and showed some spark on offense, the squad fell off its pace.

The Lady Red Devils averaged nearly 10 runs per game two weeks ago, but barely three runs per game last week through six contests. The team lost four of those six games and dropped to 21-10 for the season.

“Over the past 19 games, we are 14-5. We have seen the good and bad side of things. At one point along the way, we were 12-1. Could we have looked in the mirror and seen a team that is a 12-1 team for the entire year? That would have probably been unrealistic. But looking at a team that is 14-5 over 19 games probably is. The losses are reminders that each game is its own and it is no guarantee of success in the next one. We have seen just how good we can be when we play all three phases of our game at our best and we have seen how things fall apart when we let up,” Central coach Mitchell Holt said of his team’s play recently.

“We keep telling these girls that they can be very special. We are not going to dwell on what we did last week. We are going to focus on being the best we can be. That is what we want to do . . . be our best.”

Central lost its first game last week 2-0 to West Normal, Ill., High in the annual Gulf Shores Invitational. Central gave up single runs in the second and fourth innings to lose the game.

Brianna Leininger took the pitching loss for the Lady Red Devils. Leininger went all five innings and allowed eight hits.

At the plate, Kristen White was 1-for-1 to lead Central. Madison Hurt and Mckinnon How-ard were each 1-for-2 and Kyleigh McHargue was 1-for-3,

Central beat Alexandria 4-2 in its second game of the tournament. The Lady Red Devils scored their winning run in the bottom of the third inning. Shelby Newsome reached base on an error, stole second and scored on a single by McHargue.

Nayelica Diaz, Jaleigh Hardin, Hurt, McHargue and Howard were all 1-for-2 at the plate for Central. Diaz had a double.

Desalynn Nesbitt was the winning pitcher for Central. She threw a one-hitter.

Central lost to Good Hope 8-7 in its next contest, a game it led 7-2 entering the bottom of the final inning.

Lane Thaxton took the pitching loss.

McHargue was 2-for-3 to lead the Lady Red Devil batters with a double and two RBIs.

Central lost to Pisgah 4-1 in its next game. Nesbitt was the losing pitcher.

At the plate, Newsome was 2-for-3 to lead the Lady Red Devils. White and Hurt both had doubles in the loss.

Central won its second game of the week, 4-1, against Guntersville.

The winning runs came in the first inning. White had a lead-off single to start the first inning for Central. McHargue had a two-run home run to put the runs on the scoreboard,

Nesbitt was the winning pitcher, allowing just two hits.

Bailey Davis and McHargue were both 1-for-1 to lead Central’s batters.

Central finished the week with a 6-3 loss to Prattville. Leininger took the pitching loss de-spite allowing only one earned run. She gave up six hits over four innings.

White was 2-for-2 and McHargue was 1-for-1 at the plate for Central.

The Lady Red Devils were scheduled to play a doubleheader with Rehobeth yesterday. Today, the team will be at home to face Prattville Christian Academy. Next Tuesday, Central will be at Auburn for an area game.