Leggett’s Lady ‘Cats finally reach the top

Published 6:00 am Monday, December 17, 2007

BOGUE CHITTO — Coach Scott Leggett had been there and done thatfor three straight years. Finishing runner-up in the Class 1A StateSlowpitch Softball Tournament was an accomplishment but Leggett’sLady ‘Cats craved that championship trophy.

In an unexpected, remarkable state playoff run in 2007,Leggett’s team finally cashed in all their chips and brought homethe elusive title in their fourth consecutive finals appearance.They rallied from an opening round loss and won the next two gamesover West Union in a best-of-three championship series.

“Everybody, including myself, thought this was a rebuildingyear,” said Leggett. “We struggled throughout the season.”

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In October, a week before the state playoffs began, Leggett’steam lost three games in the Brookhaven Invitational. They were11-12 overall and runners-up to West Lincoln in the divisionrace.

“That tournament was the turning point for us,” said Leggett,reflecting on his team’s winless showing in the tourney. “We went11-3 after that and surprised a lot of people.”

Leggett’s DAILY LEADER Slowpitch Coach of the Year honor is hisfourth straight and nothing new to him. He gives credit to histeam, his wife, Denise; and his Creator for what he hasaccomplished at Bogue Chitto.

“Denise has meant a lot to our team, especially off he field,”said Leggett. “She is very important to me.”

Like her husband, she has a special love for softball, havingplayed the game all through high school at Loyd Star. They have twoyoung children, 2-year-old Alyssa, and 8-month-old Knox. Theycelebrate their fourth wedding anniversary in April.

Bogue Chitto had lost 5 starters off the previous year’s team.Four of them signed community college scholarships.

“This was not our best team in terms of record,” said Leggett.”But it was best at the end. It was like a wild-card season. Ourplayers fought hard and refused to quit.

“They had many opportunities to quit and our backs were to thewall many times,” he continued. “They had faith in God. It’s hardto explain. You would have to live through it.”

Leggett loses five starters to graduation in third basemanJessie Miller, right fielder Caitlyn Owen, right-center fielderShaquille Burton, catcher Morgan Roberts, and first baseman MikkiMitchell.

Five sophomores started for BC. They included shortstop KelliHoward, outfielder Amanda Owen, pitcher Blaine Myers and pinchrunner Holly Miller.

Three freshmen usually were in the lineup. That trio includedleft fielder Josie Claire Porter, pitcher/left-center field DarcyMiller and second baseman Bradi Davis.

Denise Leggett complimented the school’s administration andparents for their enthusiastic support. “It’s clear that theirparents instilled in them the idea of never giving up and fightingto the end.”

Scott said enthusiasm is high in the community. “We have realgood community support. We have a good fan base and they follow useverywhere. Any kind of fund raiser gets plenty of support.”

Championship rings were a priority after the Lady ‘Cats broughthome the state title. Denise said over $8,000 had been raised topurchase the rings.

“We raised enough money in two weeks,” said Denise. “We had agolf tournament as a fund-raiser. People in the community andbusinesses in Brookhaven and Lincoln County contributed. We owethem a lot of thanks.”

Scott Leggett said the championship ring presentation ceremonywould probably take place during the school’s annual athleticawards banquet. A few more months won’t take the shine off thetitle.