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LAMP lights the path with new home field

Story by Griffin Pritchard | Publisher

Photos by Thomas Stabler | CASCoreboard Photographer

MONTGOMERY — First-year Loveless Academic Magnet Program (LAMP) softball coach Joselyne Pennic beamed with excitement Tuesday night as her Tigers hosted their first on-campus game in the school’s history. While the game, a loss to Pike Road, didn’t go in their favor, another step was taken to change the athletic culture. 

“To say that changing a culture is easy would be a lie,” said Pennic. “These girls have been convinced for a long time that they are not capable of athletic achievement. With being so young of a coach, it takes a lot plus a little bit more to get players and parents that are accustomed to their past to buy in. Once they do, we will have a real chance. Change can be tough for a lot of people. I intend to continue to work to make this happen. It’ll just take a lot more time than we expected.”

To put things into comparison – LAMP is essentially a high school version of Vanderbilt University. In the March 7 meeting with Pike Road, the Tigers jumped out to a 3-2 lead going into the fourth. The Patriots answered with a four-run fourth to go ahead 6-5. LAMP reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the fifth scoring three. The Patriots were able to put the game away in the seventh with a five-run rally. The Tigers pushed a run home in the bottom of the frame but were unable to generate much offense. 

Joanna Joiner (2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored), Emily Daniels (4-for-5 with four each RBIs and hits) and McKenna Speigner (3-for-4 with a run scored) led the LAMP offense. Overall – they batted .400 as a team with 14 hits and eight RBIs. 

Addison Belyeu led the Patriots at the Plate batting 4-for-4 a double, two RBIs and three runs scored. Beyond her, the Pike Road hits were scattered throughout the lineup. 

Pennic: “Someone that impressed me (on Tuesday) was definitely Emily Daniels. She threw well for the first four innings and she went 4-4 with 4 hits and 4 RBIs. Our co-Captain McKenna Speigner continues to do what she does best and gets on base from the left side at any cost. She’s phenomenal and proves her leadership day-by-day.”

Given the way the Tigers season shakes out, Pennic knows her bunch is going to have a chance to not only earn their stripes, but grow into them. 

“I definitely think that – as we move forward – the girls will learn more and more,” said Pennic. “They aren’t used to winning. It has to be done in order for them to believe it. Everything with this 2023 team will come in due time and we simply have to look at each game as a stepping stone and growing as softball players one game at a time … one inning at a time … one pitch at a time. We started two weeks ago after everyone else due to basketball. We still have a lot of catching up to do. Most teams are only in their 20th game by now and we’re merely on our seventh. But with five tournaments to go and 12 games left, they have plenty of space to learn.”

Founder/Publisher of Central Alabama Scoreboard. Former sportsguy, and managing editor.

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