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Lady Rebels ready for softball season
shelby duff pitches copy
Junior Shelby Duff fires a pitch Thursday against Calvary Day School. - photo by Photo by Jimmy Currier

 The Lady Rebels are ready to start the 2007 softball season.

Effingham County defeated Calvary Day School 4-0 in a scrimmage Thursday at ECHS.

“I think we’re ready as far as getting back into the rhythm of things,” ECHS coach Tesh Pace said. “We can always use improvement. We have stuff to work on and I’m sure I will nit pick and find something else to work on.”

The Lady Rebels start the season at 7 p.m. Friday at intra-county rival South Effingham.

In the scrimmage, Effingham showed no signs of rust at the plate, pounding 11 hits.

“We work on it a lot but we still need to work on it,” Pace said. “I’m not content with 11 hits, 15 or 20 hits. We have to keep working on it and have what we need every game.”

Pace said a starting lineup has not been solidified yet.

“We go based on practice and how they perform,” she said. “Anybody can beat anybody out in practice. Just because they play well in one game does not mean they will be there. They have to prove it.”

Four Lady Rebels had multi-hit games. Catcher Marie Fogle, the lone senior, went 3-for 3, while junior Tabby Douberly, sophomore Kayla Calhoun and freshman Whitney Smith each had two hits.

Calhoun put the Lady Rebels on the board in the third inning, scoring from third off an illegal pitch. She led off the inning with a triple to right field.

She’s glad to be back on the diamond.

“It’s different. It took me a while to get back to where I was,” Calhoun said. “It felt good getting back out there and playing. I am looking forward to a good season.”

Sophomore left fielder Mackenzie Golden knocked in Effingham’s second run with a double to left field in the fifth inning, scoring Fogle.

The Lady Rebels added two more runs in the sixth  inning. Junior first baseman Tabby Douberly scored Smith with a single and freshman center fielder Kacee Page scored off a wild pitch.

Effingham’s three pitchers turned in impressive performances. Sophomore Taylor Connell pitched the first three innings and did not allow any hits. She struck out four. The Rebels’ ace junior Shelby Duff pitched the next three innings and also struck out four batters. She gave up three hits. Freshman Kendall Usher pitched the final inning and did not allow a hit.

Duff, who played for the South Effingham Angels travelling team in the summer and competed in the ASA Nationals in South Dakota, said she was glad to be back with the Lady Rebels.

“I feel a lot more comfortable out here,” she said. “It (Having competed in South Dakota) makes me work a lot harder. When I get out here I’m a lot more prepared and ready.”

Though the pitchers had eight strikeouts, they received plenty of help from the fielders, including two double plays to escape jams.

In the sixth inning with runners on first and second and one out, shortstop Smith turned a solo double play by catching a line drive and immediately stomping on second base.

Then, in the seventh with a runner on second and one out, second baseman Calhoun caught a line drive and threw to Smith at second.

Sophomore right fielder Ashlyn Newman had a busy day, catching three pop flys.