Although ranked first in district and No. 19 a state poll, the Sulphur Springs Lady Cats ran into a tough opponent at home Friday night.
The game was full of “iffy” calls and remarkable plays, and in the end, the Lady Cats sneaked out with an electrifying win, 1-0.
Marshall’s Brianna Hill led off in the top of the first inning only to see her line drive caught by senior pitcher Kaci Kennedy. The Lady Mavs went three and out with no hits in the top of the first.
The bottom of the first did not look too bright for the Lady Cats having no luck during their at bat.
The defensive game for the Lady Cats began to ignite after Marshall’s second at bat. Brittani Crawford forced out number two of the inning then threw to Krista
McMahan at second base for the double play.
Once again, the Lady Cats left empty-handed in the bottom of the second inning. Marshall’s Amanda Harmon seemed to be more than Sulphur Springs had hoped for not allowing a single run or hit for the high scoring Lady Cats.
Kennedy lived up to her reputation as a powerful pitcher picking up a strikeout and an additional no run inning. The Lady Mavs got only a single hit in the top of the third thanks to a Natalie Cucinotta bunt.
After yet another scoreless at bat for the Lady Cats, it was time for Taylor Clifton to come out to the mound. Clifton stunned the Lady Mavs in the top of the fourth inning by recording two strikeouts, keeping Marshall at bay, 0-0.
The tide was soon to turn for the Lady Cats after going hitless in the first three innings. JaMonica Hall led off for Sulphur Springs in the bottom of the fourth with a walk and then stealing second thanks to a Mac Morgan foul ball. Senior first baseman Katie Dodd then batted in Hall, the only run of the game, off her pop fly double.
Both the Lady Cats and Lady Mavs went through the next two innings without adding to the score total.
The seventh inning at Lady Cat Park would be an unforgettable one for the fans in attendance.
Marshall’s Rebecca Young came up to the plate and slammed out a double. Harmon, who kept the Lady Cats to a one-run game, then hit a sacrifice grounder setting up the go-ahead run at third.
With two outs to spare, Lady Mav Rebecca Horsley turned the 2-2 pitch into a game ending fly ball. Sulphur Springs’ McMahan got the second out then threw to Morgan to force the double play at third and the Lady Cat victory.
Fans could not have asked for a more exciting win than the one witnessed Friday night. Even though the game was low scoring, the outcome was remarkable for both the Sulphur Springs Lady Cats and the fans present.
The Lady Cats go on the road Tuesday to take on Hallsville and defend their 6-1 first place lead. They return home to host Pine Tree at 6 p.m. Thursday.
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