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April 2, 2014

Latta softballers power by Roff

Latta — The Latta High softball team won seven of its last 10 games, including a strong third-place showing at the loaded Beast of the East Tournament in Stonewall last week, but dropped from No. 10 to No. 11 in the latest Class 4A rankings.

Head coach Jim Foster was none too pleased, and apparently his team was kind of miffed, too.

Latta pounded four home runs, finished with 16 total hits and powered past local rival Roff 18-9 at home Monday evening.

Latta improved to 8-6 overall while Roff — No. 5 in Class 2A — left with an identical 8-6 record. The Lady Tigers, after winning five straight, have now dropped three in a row, including a pair of games in the Beast of the East event (an 8-5 loss to the same Latta team and an 8-7 setback to Class 5A No. 8 Sulphur).

“I think we’re a Top 5 team in Class 4A. We just have to keep beating people and playing well, and maybe somebody will notice,” said Foster, who watched his team start the season 0-4 after jumping right into the 2014 schedule with very little practice due to an extended playoff run by the Latta girls basketball team.

“A little practice pays off. We hit the ball real well today,” he said. “We talked a little bit before the game ... and I think we had a little more relaxed approach at the plate and we hit the ball a lot better.”

After winning four straight games in the Beast of the East before settling for third place and then roughing up Roff, one might believe the Latta team is hitting its stride. Not Foster.

“We’re not even close to hitting our stride yet. Right now, we’re figuring things out. We still have some tweaking to do,” he said.

Roff didn’t make things easy on the Lady Panthers, scoring four runs in the top of the first inning.

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