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Russellville softball begins season

An experienced group of Russellville Lady Golden Tigers is heading into the 2019 varsity softball season looking to make this year a memorable one.

RHS has a large number of seniors and juniors who have already seen a lot of playing time in the past, and they will be joined by a couple of talented eighth-graders on this year’s squad.

Head coach Kathryn Montgomery said she knows what it will take for the team to be successful. “I asked them to do the little things well and pay attention to the details,” Montgomery said. “I believe if you can do the small things, the small things add up to be big things. I’m pushing them to make sure they are self-policing and paying attention to what matters, even when somebody isn’t hanging over their shoulder. So, what I expect of them is to do what they’re supposed to do, when they’re supposed to do it, how they’re supposed to do it, always.”

Buckhorn 10, Russellville 1

Russellville made the trip to New Market to start the season and fell to the 6A Buckhorn Lady Bucks.

A big six-run sixth inning for BHS put the game out of reach, as the Lady Bucks out-hit Russellville 6-3 in the contest. The Lady Golden Tigers scored their only run in the fourth inning and made three errors on defense over the course of the contest.

Karlie Moore went 2-2 and also added an RBI and a walk to lead Russellville. Alivia Clemmons had the other RHS hit, and Jenna Whitfield scored the run. Whitfield, Autumn Logan and Megan Warhurst all had walks for Russellville, and Clemmons was hit by a pitch.

Warhurst threw 133 pitches over six innings for Russellville. She allowed six hits and 10 runs; four of the runs were earned. She struck out five Buckhorn batters but walked eight.

Morgan Nowakowski was the star of the game for Buckhorn. She went 3-3, including two doubles and two RBIs. She also walked once and scored a run.

Russellville 3, Hatton 2

The Lady Golden Tigers got their first win of the season Feb. 25 in the home-opener at RHS.

University of West Florida signee Warhurst got the win as starting pitcher by going three innings and allowing two unearned runs. She gave up one hit and struck out three.

Eighth-grader Chalea Clemmons pitched the last four innings of the game, and she gave up three hits and no runs. She struck out two Lady Hornets and walked one.

Warhurst and Clemmons also helped the cause with their bats. Warhurst was 2-2 at the plate, while Clemmons was 3-3 with a run scored.

Madison Murray is back this year after missing the past season with a knee injury, and she went 2-2 with a walk, the go-ahead RBI with two outs in the third and a run scored. Murray played second base and teamed up with shortstop Karlie Moore and Makala O’Neal at first base to turn a double play on a ground ball to stop a potential Hatton rally.

Centerfielder AJ Taylor made two outstanding catches to save runs for RHS. The first came in the third inning, when she made a running catch near the fence on a deep fly ball. The other was another running catch with the potential tying run on second base to make the second out of the last inning. Then Moore was positioned perfectly to catch a hard-hit liner to end the game.

RHS baserunners were safe five out of six tries on stolen base attempts.

“Our pitchers looked a lot better tonight, and our defense was on top of things,” Montgomery said. “We didn’t score as many runs as I think we’re capable of, but we scored enough. The girls did a good job, and I can feel them getting excited about what they’re capable of doing this year. I think that’s going to be a big part of it – that confidence.”

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