Oxford softball downed by Clinton in game one

Published 8:47 pm Thursday, April 20, 2023

Oxford head coach Tabitha Beard did not mince words after her teams’ loss to Clinton in game one of their first-round series with the Lady Arrows.

“We just didn’t execute. I feel like a broken record. We just didn’t execute, that’s all there was to it,” Beard said. “We left too many runners on base, we made too many mistakes, we just didn’t execute.”

Beard lamented her team’s effort in the 9-4 loss, calling on them to put more of an emphasis on making sound plays defensively and giving full effort on every play.

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“What happened tonight was a mental thing and I truly believe that,” she said. “If I could ever figure out teenage girls I’d make a lot of money. I think it was mental, I don’t think we were mentally tough tonight.”

The Lady Chargers were nearly able to match Clinton punch-for-punch, plating a run in the first after falling behind in the top of the inning and responding to a four-run fifth for the Lady Arrows with two of their own in the bottom of the inning.

They were unable to slow down the onslaught however as Clinton pushed four more runs across in the top of the seventh to push the lead back out to 9-3.

A solo blast by junior Addy Shorter in the bottom of the inning provided a consolation run for the Lady Chargers before going down with a whimper as back-to-back strikeouts brought the game to a close.

Beard said her message to the team after the loss was simple:

How much do you want it?

“The message is that it’s yours. It’s your season, it’s your everything,” she said. “It’s yours to win, it’s yours to take. Tell the fans you’ll see them on Tuesday and go do a job because you’re more than capable, there’s no doubt in my mind that they’re more than capable of winning… they just have to figure out how much they’re going to fight for each other.”

Oxford travels to Clinton for game two at 5:30 p.m. on Monday before returning home for game three on Tuesday if necessary.