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The way the Starkville Christian Lady Cougars swung the bats in the final inning of Thursday's first home game of the season gave coach Greg Carlisle hope for the future.
Even though Starkville Christian lost a 19-5 decision to Kemper Academy at the Starkville Sportsplex, four of the five runs the Lady Cougars scored came in the final at-bat.
Carlisle was pleased to see his squad exhibit a little bit of pride when it could have quit after getting down by such a large deficit.
"The last two teams we played (Kemper and Central Academy) are going to hit the ball and we knew it was going to be a great defensive practice for them to be in these game-type situations," Carlisle said. "They are learning to work together really well.
"The more at-bats they get and start working together, it's going to start rubbing off from one game to the next."
In the sixth inning, Corey Lewis led off with an infield single for the Lady Cougars, then Ashleigh Parrott walked and Heather Koehn singled to load the bases.
A fielder's choice to Keally Fulgham allowed Lewis to cross the plate and another fielder's choice to Kera Young brought Parrott home.
Rachel Witbeck delivered a two-run triple to drive in two more runs, but the final out of the game was recorded by Kemper without SCS doing any more damage before the run-rule came into play.
The Lady Cougars scored their first run of the game in the first frame on consecutive singles by Beka Bisson, Katie Carr and Young.
April Burkis had the other base hit, a single in the second inning.
Carlisle credits his assistant coach Jorga Wilson for the improvement of the SCS hitters.
"Coach Wilson is an experienced softball player and very competitive," Carlisle said. "She has worked wonders with these girls. Having her here and having her instructing with the hitting is going a long way. They are learning a lot from her."