Lady Tigers split with Troy during playoffs

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 11, 2006

After closing out the season with two losses to the Lady Trojans from Troy, Donna Sunnycalb and her Lady Tigers weren't going to let the Trojans make it three in a row as they entered the first round of the AHSAA softball playoffs Saturday.

&#8220The one objective we wanted to accomplish before we left Greenville was to beat Troy,” said Sunnycalb. &#8220The last two times we played them we jumped out and scored two or three runs before they did but after that we just fell apart.”

The Lady Tigers didn't fall apart this time and held it together through eight innings to top the Lady Trojans 6-5 thanks to a late inning homerun by Mikki Harris.

&#8220When you play a team like Troy, they're very cocky and confident and that really fired our kids up,” Sunnycalb said. &#8220We knew we were capable of winning, especially after the last two times we played them.”

Sunnycalb said the game against Troy was the best they've played all year, but it might have been too good as the Lady Tigers lost their next two games to Eufaula (8-0) and a final rematch with Troy, 10-0 ending their season.

&#8220It's like we ran out of steam; like that was all we had to give,” she said. &#8220Definitely out of the four teams I felt like us and Eufaula had the best team. We had shot ourselves in the foot all year long and once we had that big game with Troy we went back to that.”

The Lady Trojans head coach Steve Haug said his squad should have closed the deal on Greenville in the first game, but they got it together in their loser's bracket match up with Carroll and then the rematch with Greenville.

&#8220We really should have beat Greenville in game one,” Haug said for a story in Sunday's Troy Messenger. &#8220We played OK, but we really should have put them away. The girl’s bounced back, though. We started hitting the ball a lot better in the (Carroll) game and we hit the ball really well against Greenville. We jumped out and got five runs early and it was pretty obvious then that (Greenville) was ready to go. They came in feeling like they had a chance to win and then we jumped on them early and kind of deflated them.”

While it was tough to get bounced by your nemesis, Sunnycalb is optimistic about next year, even though she's losing some talented ballplayers.

&#8220We're going to lose four key players in Kendra Mitchell, Danita Crenshaw, Tara Gibson and Mikki Harris, so we've got some big shoes to fill. &#8220They have been the foundation of what I've been trying to build here and I've been proud to coach them and we're going to miss them next year.”

Sunycalb said she already has her game plan for next year.

&#8220Next year we're going to have work on being more mentally tough and capitalizing on things that come our way,” she said. &#8220We have the athletes here at Greenville High and good things are going to happen for us.”