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Offensive explosion

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By Brian Besch
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Livingston showed off an offense that scored in bunches for Tuesday’s district opener, finishing Hardin-Jefferson 19-3 in just four innings. Not only were the Lady Lions productive throughout the lineup with all nine contributing, they drove the ball consistently all night against three different Hardin-Jefferson pitchers.

The Lady Hawks actually took an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first with runs on an RBI-triple and a fielder’s choice.

The home Lady Lions wasted no time answering, as Jaycee Knighton singled and Brianna Nelson brought her in with a double. Allison Lytle walked, Shelby Dickerson smacked a two-RBI double and Corinne Henderson reached on error. Bailey Goodson plated one with a sacrifice fly, and Jacie David collected an RBI on a base hit to go up 5-2 after an inning.

A walk and errors allowed what would be the final H-J run of the game in the third. Again, Livingston answered in the bottom half, starting with a Dickerson infield single and Henderson two-run homer. After a pitching change, the Lady Lions went back to work. Goodson walked, David singled and Breonna Niederhofer brought in a run on a fielder’s choice. Knighton then drove in a run on a double and Nelson reached by error, allowing another to cross home. The Lady Lions held a comfortable 10-3 advantage after three frames.

“We have a few pieces in the lineup where we can string them together,” Livingston coach Heather Mosser said. “My top six or seven, I am pretty confident in. (Hardin-Jefferson) lost two or three very impactful players for them last year. They still have one in the outfield that is going to Baylor and she is a stud. She was running down balls all the way in left field (from center). This is a rebuilding year for them.

“We play a tough schedule and have some relatively easy wins too, but we have to make sure that anytime we step on this field that we can do that to a team. Sometimes, you play down, but that was not the case tonight. I am really proud of my kids for stepping up and playing, because we are staying in ball games, but it is nice to crush some teams too.”

The floodgates opened wide in the fourth for Livingston. Dickerson doubled, Henderson walked, and Goodson grounded into a fielder’s choice to bring one in. David got another across with a single, and Ariyanah Cuellar singled. Niederhofer walked to load the bags. A wild pitch brought in the runner from third, and Knighton did the rest with a two-RBI double. Nelson doubled with an RBI and Lytle did the same. Dickerson sacrificed herself on a fly ball, setting up Henderson. A freshman third baseman, Henderson swatted her second home run of the night, this one for two runs to end it at 19-3.
The Lady Lions are now 8-8, with most of the losses coming from schools in larger classifications like Kingwood Park, College Station and Clear Springs from Class 5A and 6A. Livingston will still have to challenge some of the stiffer competition in the state, with Huffman Hargrave and Liberty at the top of the district. 

“We have played competitive games with very good teams and playoff teams in larger districts,” Mosser said. “The kids want this, they want a playoff run and they are bought in. I’ve got four seniors who are kind of leading the charge on that, two of which will play in college after this.

“We definitely have the potential to be (the best group since Mosser arrived). Had we not had a few injuries, we would be that much better. At the end of the day, I have had some freshmen, for example, Corinne Henderson with two bombs tonight. If you get her going, I don’t know that you can stop her. I have a freshman behind the plate and Corinne at third base. They are filling positions and doing a job for us, so that is huge.”

Livingston travels south down Highway 59 to West Fork Friday for their second district match.

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