Simply perfect

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 16, 2005

For the past two games, the Greenville High School Lady Tigers have had the opportunity to see how the other half live. Thursday night though, that changed.

Greenville High School had posted a two-game winning streak with an area victory over a very outclassed Carroll-Ozark squad. Wednesday, they continued that momentum into Luverne for a meeting with an equally poor Luverne team. The result was a 11-0 shutout and the first-ever no-hitter in the young career of freshman pitcher Brittany White.

White not only threw a no-hitter, she threw a perfect game. Their streak ended though on Thursday with an 8-2 loss at Trinity.

The game against Luverne, which was called after five innings due to the mercy rule, brought 15 Luverne Lady Tiger batters to the dish to face White. Five of those batters put the bat on the ball and put the ball in play only to be thrown out by the Greenville's defense. For 10 other Lady Tigers, they were sent back to the dugout with the bat on their shoulder after being struck out. They either went down swinging or went down looking. Either way, the only time a Luverne player touched the base path was on defense. There was a moment in the third inning, when White almost saw her perfect game disappear, but a running grab at the foul line by Tenisha Womack saved the no-no for the freshman.

"I think that the moral of the team is up a lot more than what it was before," said Donna Sunnycalb, coach of the Greenville High School Lady Tigers. "I think that Tuesday's win helped Brittany's moral and helped her to realize that she has a defense behind her."

But, no pitching performance is noted without offensive support to back it up. At the plate against the Lady Tigers, White helped her cause, going 3-for-4 with three singles and scoring two runs. She wasn't the only player from Greenville to make an impression on the base paths.

"I think the moral of the team is up a lot more than what it was before this point in our season," said Sunnycalb. "We had the big area win on Monday and then the win over Luverne on Tuesday and that's helped us out a lot."

Freshman Halie Burnett finished the night 3-for-3 with three singles and also scored two runs. Mikki Harris finished 2-for-4 with a pair of singles and a run scored. Kendra Mitchell put a mark in the hit column with a double and three RBI and then crossed the plate herself to aid the Lady Tigers' cause. Eighth-grader Nicole Norton tacked on a pair of hits for Greenville as well as Kristy Payne. Payne finished the night with a single, two stolen bases and a run. She also reached base due to a walk.

One good thing for the Lady Tigers through the first two games of the week, is that they have outscored their opponents 21-0 and have not committed an error.

"I wouldn't say that the error bug is completely gone," said Sunnycalb.

"But we are doing a better job of recovering. We haven't really had a bad inning since that 10th inning against Andalusia last week. I have my nine starters out there now. And from now until the playoffs those are the ones that I have the most confidence in and know that they can get the job done."

But White's milestone could only be celebrated for a day. The Lady Tigers turned around and played Trinity Presbyterian on Thursday.

The Lady Tigers were able to out hit the Lady Wildcats to the tune of six hits to their one. The difference, however, came in the error column.

Greenville committed 10 errors that led to eight runs. Trinity notched their second win over the Lady Tigers, this time it was to the tune of 8-2.

"It's very disappointing," said Sunnycalb, "especially knowing that you out-hit a team, but your defense folded on you. I think they just didn't show up on Thursday, to me they didn't act like they wanted to play. The usual people looked like they did. But, we are going to be in situations like these until they all get on the same page and decide that they want to be ball players."

But for the Lady Tigers, this is the situation that they have been in all season. Other than those two recent games, the Lady Tigers have been on the low side of the scoreboard. That is until they get into area play.

Greenville is currently 3-0 in the area and stands to improve to 5-0 on Monday when they play host to the Charles Henderson Lady Trojans.

"It's almost like it's a different team that comes out when we play area teams," said Sunnycalb. "If it's a "Just-Because team," then they don't show up, they lack the drive to be dominating to win all the time. I look for it to be a different team than what we saw against Trinity."

Like it has been all season, White is going to be the pitcher for the Lady Tigers upcoming games against Charles Henderson.

"I'm confident in her," said Sunnycalb.

"She's pitched probably 19 of the 20 games and she's gotten better in every game. She's going to hopefully throw 14 innings on Monday. That's my goal. We communicate that on a regular basis. If she has to, she'll throw a game and a half. Brittany plays travel ball all summer and she pitches in travel ball. So she is used to this."