By Alvin Richardson
This past Saturday afternoon the MCHS Lady Dogs from days gone by gathered once more to have a little fun, renew old friendships, rehash old stories and memorialize one of their own. In a day that included a home run derby, a ceremony in honor of the late Brittany Smith and a five inning game there were both laughter and tears and everyone who attended concluded that the day was both a rousing success in terms of enjoyment and a fitting tribute to one of their own.
The opening activity of the festivities was the home run derby. Elizabeth Couch started things off with two home runs followed by Lauren Geisel Daniel who didn’t get one out of the park. Tina Greenway picked up one homer on her turn and Aubrey Cox didn’t manage one but then Alishia Frierson (currently playing at North Georgia College) put on a show. Frierson smoked nine balls out of the park and about half of those would have been out at Hartsfield International Airport.
Following the home run derby a ceremony was held in honor of former Lady Dog Brittany Smith who lost her life in a car accident earlier this year. There wasn’t a dry eye in the park during those moments and readers can find a complete description of that ceremony in a separate article of the newspaper.
Then came the game itself. In what turned out to be a barn burner the Black Team coached by former head coach and current athletic director Doug Connelly pulled a stunning comeback by scoring four runs in the bottom of the fifth to snatch an 8-7 victory from the Red Team led by former coaches Steve Cisson and Anne Stamps.
The Red team led early when Alishia Frierson belted a two run double for the first scores of the game. The Black team responded with one run in the bottom of the first to cut the margin in half. Neither squad managed a run in the second frame. The Red Team couldn’t muster any offense in the top of the third but in the bottom of the third the Black team tied it up to make it 2-2 after three innings of play. It looked like the Cisson / Stamps led team would walk away a winner after a five run outburst in the fourth but the Black team came back with two runs in the bottom of the fourth to cut the lead to three at 7-4. In the top of the fifth the Red team couldn’t push a run across and thus the Black Team came to bat in the bottom of the fifth with one last chance.
Needing three runs to tie the game the spunky Black squad put the tying runs on base with no outs. They pushed one across on a wild pitch and then Libby Whitaker grounded out to knock in another run to make it 7-6. With one out and runners on second and third Ansley Dean singled to left field to tie the game. Amber Vandiver made it to first on a fielder’s choice which loaded the bases with one out. Kelly Sims then put on her hero outfit and lifted a fly ball to center field that was deep enough to score the winning run as the Black Team came away an 8-7 winner.
There were some interesting contests in between innings. One of those contests was to see which pitcher could knock a ball off a tee set up at home plate. Six players participated and Ansley Dean came away the winner when she knocked two out of three balls off the tees. In addition to that little test of skill there was also a contest known as the Dizzy Bat Spin. Sabrina Bennett and Lauren Geisel were the participants. Each lady had to stand a bat upright on the ground and then bend down and place their head on top of the bat. They then had to spin around 10 times and then race to the finish line. In a dizzying race, Sabrina Bennett zig-zagged to the finish line to get a win – but not before both had staggered and fallen in their first attempt.
After the game there were a couple of unofficial awards. The Iron Man Award went to Brenda Lopez who caught the whole game for the Black Team and the Hero Award to Kelly Sims who knocked in the winning run.
Here is a list of those who took part in the Lady Dogs Alumni Day festivities:
Lauren Geisel Daniel
Lauren Bohannon Launius
and Anne Stamps
Amanda Malcom Pickles
Coach: Doug Connelly