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Slow start leads to big finish as Lady Tigers crunch Neal

By By BRUCE HIXON Sports Editor
The final score tells people the most important thing they need to know, who won and who lost.
Sometimes that score can be misleading. Take the 16-1, five-inning victory by the T.R. Miller Lady Tigers softball team at W.S. Neal Monday for example.
True, T.R. Miller led from start to finish. True, the Lady Blue Eagles did not get a hit until their final plate appearance.
Yet that lead by the Lady Tigers was just 1-0 headed into the fourth inning and only 4-0 headed into the fifth inning when T.R. Miller broke the game open with a 12-run outburst.
"It was a lot like our game against Jay (a 14-1 loss). This score isn't indicative of how our team played most of the game. We have to learn how to play the way we did for seven innings instead of just three or four. I think some of that can be attributed to inexperience. Once we get past that, we could have a good finish to our season," W.S. Neal coach Shane Smothers said.
Despite the fact the Lady Tigers (3-2) scored 16 runs, they managed only six hits. T.R. Miller's attack benefitted from 12 walks and four W.S. Neal errors.
Five of those hits and six of the walks came in T.R. Miller's 12-run fifth inning. Erin Byrne, Halie Ellis, Terri Lynne Peacock, Charity Coleman and Emily Layton all had singles in that frame.
"We've got to do a better job of getting off to faster starts in games. We never did score in both games at the Andalusia Tournament and we got off to another slow start in this game. Part of the problem may be is we've gone from facing slow pitchers to fast pitchers back to slow pitchers. We need to do a better job of adjusting to the speed," T.R. Miller coach Jamie Riggs said.
W.S. Neal broke up T.R. Miller pitcher Rebekah Neal's no-hitter and shutout in the bottom of the fifth inning through singles by Tabitha Hiers, Amanda Ziglar and Brittany Tagudar.
T.R. Miller, which entertained Excel Tuesday, is off until March 30 when it travels to Excel for a 3:30 p.m. game. W.S. Neal's next game is March 29 when it travels to Jay (Fla.) for a 5:30 p.m. game.
At W.S. Neal
T.R. Miller 100 3(12) 16 6 1
W.S. Neal 000 01 – 1 3 4