TIC does well

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 9, 2006

The Tarheel Independent Conference tournament was the usual display of good talent.

Lawrence Academy did a good job of keeping the status quo in the league with their sweep of the tournament titles. Both the baseball and softball teams won the regular season championships and held serve in the tournament.

Thanks to the tournaments being held at the same time, I was only able to catch the entire softball side. Sports Writer and Columnist Curly Morris did the baseball duties. I was able to catch some of the championship game and a little of the Ridgecroft-Hobgood semifinal.

In softball, the most impressive performance of the tournament undoubtedly came from Lawrence youngster Kendall Street. She was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player after having a 1-for-2 day at the plate with a walk in the semifinal and pitching a five-hit win in the tournament championship.

Street was a lot more dominating than the five hits would make it seem. She cruised on the mound and appeared in complete control for most of the contest.

As usual, the Lawrence seniors showed why they have been part of two consecutive state titles. Jessica Johnston, who was named Player of the Year, was the best player on the field and it showed. Classmates Lauren Rea, Jodi White and Ruth Stotesbury came through when they were needed and proved once again why they were the team to beat inside the TIC.

Coach Truitt Johnston has one of the better softball minds around and he made the right decisions to keep his team focused. Assistant Bill Swain is also as solid as they come and helped the Warriors make the right play.

There were also a couple of players outside our general readership who made the tournament worth watching.

One of the more impressive players was Hobgood Academy’s Tracy Boyd. She is a senior catcher for the Raiders who kept her team in games. She made the right play every time and should be a shoe-in for All-State honors.

Also, it was a pleasure watching Pungo Christian Academy shortstop Hunter Johnson close out her career. Johnson is one of the class acts in the Tarheel Independent Conference and she will be missed on the courts and playing fields of the area.

Last year I was outspoken in my criticism of the coaches of the TIC and their choice for Player of the Year. This year I have to give the coaches credit for doing an outstanding job on all fronts.

The only way they could have gotten it more right was to expand the All-Tarheel Independent Conference by a couple of players. The all-league team was just a solid group of players and they should be proud.

On the baseball side, I saw only Lawrence’s last few innings of handling Hobgood Academy pretty easily in the TIC title game. Second-year coach Robert Kravitz, who is going to be one of the game’s greats, got his first tournament title after senior Dusty Todd pitched a gutsy game and led the Warriors to the title.

Ridgecroft School’s Gavin Mizelle also gave a good performance in the semifinal contest. Despite the loss, Mizelle was solid most of the game. He was a victim of circumstance more than anything else.

The TIC tournament was a lot of fun. It reminded me how much fun league tournaments are. I’d love to see one in the Northeastern Coastal Conference for our public schools.

Questions? Comments? Snide remarks? All are welcome.

You can reach me at thadd.white@r-cnews.com or call me at 332-7211.

Be careful out there and be good sports.