September 9, 2004
After graduating eight seniors including top pitcher Sara Eggleston, many fans had counted out the SCR-I softball team in 2004.
Heading into the 2004 softball season, third-year coach Terri Slaughter had plenty of holes to fill. After losing eight seniors to graduation it is easy to see why some of the competition may have been expecting the Lady Tigers to falter a little this year.
“We lost those eight kids to graduation so a lot of the other teams were wondering how much we were going to have this year,” Slaughter said.
Out of the gates it looked like the critics might be right. Scotland County dropped the season opener to Clark County 5-2 and then was thumped by Highland 9-1.
But after demolishing Brashear 8-0 in the home opener August 31, the Tigers sent a message to the rest of the area teams, “We’re Back” by beating the defending Tri-Rivers Conference champions Knox County 3-1 on September 2nd in Memphis.
Not only did SCR-I beat what many experts consider the top team in the region; the Lady Tigers bested the reigning league MVP, pitcher Katie McMahon.
And to prove this was no fluke, Scotland County turned around less than 48 hours later and duplicated the victory with a 2-1 win in the opening round of the Knox County Tournament Saturday, September 4th.
Senior Rebecca Consbrock has stepped into some big shoes, taking over for Eggleston on the mound.
“She hasn’t missed a beat,” Coach Slaughter said. “Rebecca could have pitched more for us last year. We knew she could get the job done, but none of the other teams really knew much about her.”
Now they do.
Consbrock allowed just five hits and one walk as she beat the Eagles for the first time to improve to 2-2 on the year. She fanned 10 Knox County batters in the huge victory.
“Rebecca pitched just as good in the first two games but our defense let her down,” Coach Slaughter said. “That’s the biggest difference between then and now. When you commit six or eight errors in a game you can’t win. We’ve cut that down to one or two mistakes a game. Plus the girls are finally settled in to where they don’t let one error blow open a big inning.”
The senior hurler has been getting good support from the offense as well.
SCR-I jumped on McMahon in the first inning to take a 1-0 lead. Valerie Crawford singled with one out. She went to second on a ground out by Consbrock. Clean-up hitter Angie Bulen laced a single of the pitcher’s glove. When McMahon recovered and tried to throw Bulen out at first, Crawford made a great base-running play to come all the way around from second to score on a ball that never left the infield.
SCR-I got to Knox County again in the fourth frame. Ali Fromm ripped a double over the left fielder’s head. She stole third base and then scored easily on a triple to left center field by freshman catcher Jessica Bair.
Knox County got on the board in the sixth inning to trim the margin to 2-1 but the Lady Tigers added an insurance run in the bottom of the frame. With two outs Crawford singled. She went to third on a double by Consbrock and then later scored on a passed ball.
Fromm had three of her team’s eight hits off of McMahon. Crawford was 2-3.