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State trip, region title woes end
Lady Ads’ first state softball trip since ’99 follows first Region 2-AAA title since ’82; Morris, defense, clutch hitting the keys


The “sisterhood” of successful Farragut High School softball in 2004 combines excellent defense, a talented young pitcher coming of age, timely hitting, a “can’t lose” attitude and — not to be overlooked — great team chemistry.

Those qualities landed David Moore’s Lady Admirals in the TSSAA Class AAA state softball tournament this week in Memphis after his girls won the program’s first Region 2-AAA since 1982 — when FHS won its only state title.

Farragut entered state tournament action Tuesday against Dickson County (after press deadline) sporting the most wins in school history (37) with a 37-7 record. It’s the Lady Admirals’ third trip to the state tournament since 1998 — first since ’99 — and third in coach Moore’s 14 seasons as FHS head coach.

SUCCESS FORMULA

Why is this team so successful?

“I think it’s because we have good chemistry, and we all get along, we’re all really good friends and we play well together,” FHS senior first baseman Lindsay Samarin said. “And I think we’re all like sisters to each other.”

Senior outfielder Jennifer Covell added, “This is the first team that we’re all, like, united, we’re all one team. It’s not separated into upper and lower class. And awesome leadership, not only the seniors but everyone.”

As for the sheer joy of making it to Memphis, “It’s an amazing feeling, words can’t explain it,” senior left fielder Kira Perkins said.


The “sisterhood” of successful Farragut High School softball in 2004 combines excellent defense, a talented young pitcher coming of age, timely hitting, a “can’t lose” attitude and — not to be overlooked — great team chemistry.

Those qualities landed David Moore’s Lady Admirals in the TSSAA Class AAA state softball tournament this week in Memphis after his girls won the program’s first Region 2-AAA since 1982 — when FHS won its only state title.

Farragut entered state tournament action Tuesday against Dickson County (after press deadline) sporting the most wins in school history (37) with a 37-7 record. It’s the Lady Admirals’ third trip to the state tournament since 1998 — first since ’99 — and third in coach Moore’s 14 seasons as FHS head coach.

SUCCESS FORMULA

Why is this team so successful?

“I think it’s because we have good chemistry, and we all get along, we’re all really good friends and we play well together,” FHS senior first baseman Lindsay Samarin said. “And I think we’re all like sisters to each other.”

Senior outfielder Jennifer Covell added, “This is the first team that we’re all, like, united, we’re all one team. It’s not separated into upper and lower class. And awesome leadership, not only the seniors but everyone.”

As for the sheer joy of making it to Memphis, “It’s an amazing feeling, words can’t explain it,” senior left fielder Kira Perkins said.

“We didn’t realize how hard it would be to go back into region, because it took us three years to go back to region,” Covell said.

MOORE’S VIEW

“They expect to win,” said coach Moore. “They don’t really let the pressure bother them too much. They’re just tough … You can’t say they’re the best team I’ve ever had, I’ve had two (other) teams go to the state tournament and they probably hit better. But this team does have the intangibles, they don’t like to lose and they find ways to win. There’s a lot to say for that.”

MORRIS ON THE MOUND

Sophomore pitcher Margaret Morris, District 4-AAA’s Player of the Year, took a 32-6 record and an earned run average under 0.50 to state.

Following her 1-0 shutout of Central in eight innings during the region title game May 19 in Fountain City Park, Morris struck out eight and walked none in a 6-2 sectional victory against Jefferson County Friday at Bellamy Field, earning the Lady Ads a big trip west.

Has Morris exceeded the coach’s expectations? “Most definitely,” Moore said. “She’s won (32) games, she’s broken the school record for wins, her ERA is less than a half-run a game. Her strikeout (-to-walk) ratio is about eleven or twelve-to-one now. You don’t expect that out of a sophomore. And it’ll be hard for her to have another year as good. Her junior and senior years, she may be a much better pitcher, but it’ll be hard to have as many wins.”

As for improvement since her freshman season, “I’ve improved tremendously,” Morris said. “I’ve gained speed and I’ve really been working on my other pitches. And now I know, if they start to get around on my fastball, I can throw other pitches and still get it done.”

DEFENSE

“The defense has played great behind her,” Moore said. “When we make mistakes, we usually pick ourselves up, we don’t let those mistakes hurt us. We’ve only had two or three innings this year where we’ve just kind of kicked it around and had bad innings and let it affect us.”

But Morris proves this “sisterhood” thing is more than just talk. She spreads the credit.

“Our defense has been key throughout the entire season,” the young pitcher said. “We have all these one-nothing, two-to-one games, and it’s because of our defense. My defense has always come through for me, and they always will.”

HITTING

While this 2004 FHS team isn’t exactly the softball equivalent to Barry Bonds in hitting prowess, “The thing about our lineup, we’ve had people all the way up and down our lineup that have key hits at different times this year,” Coach Moore said.

One great example was Friday’s sectional victory.

“Kori’s (Manes) double woke us up a little bit, if she doesn’t get a hit right there it might be a totally different game,” Moore said of Manes’ second inning double to deep left field that tied the game 1-1. “We got the monkey off our back and got that run right back, and everybody else loosed up hitting-wise.

Stephanie Dueber’s two-out second inning single to put FHS up for good 2-1.

Manes, who ended with a game-high three hits, again came up big in the third inning by stroking a two-out, two strike, two-RBI single to right field to ignite a four-run outburst.

Samarin added a sharp single to center field for the other two RBIs in the third inning. Covell, senior shortstop Becky McCraw and third baseman Jessie Howard each added key hits during the first three innings.

“Kori had a great night,” Moore said. “Stephanie, Lindsay and Jen came up big. The bottom of the order came up big today.”

 

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