Lady Cats go unbeaten in Corsicana Classic
From Staff Reports

March 5, 2004 -- CORSICANA -- Six of one, half-dozen of another.

Anyway you look at it, the Sulphur Springs Lady Cats went 6-0 in the Corsicana Classic last weekend, winning the tournament championship by outscoring their opponents 46-4.

After beating Leander, 11-1, on Thursday and edging Fort Worth Paschal, 2-1, Friday afternoon, the Lady Cats completed the sweep by beating Huntsville, 2-1, Friday evening, then sweeping three games on Saturday: West Mesquite, 14-1; San Marcos, 7-0; and Desoto, 10-0, in the championship game.

Coach John McCullough said all the elements came together for the tournament championship, including timely hitting, quality pitching and good defense.

"We hit the ball well, played good defense and had some outstanding pitching," he said. "Those are all cliches, but it's what wins games for you."

The team was paced at the plate by lead-off hitter Kristen Cross, Melissa McSheffery, Hollie Watson and junior Casey Carper.

Carper, along with playing excellent defense at second base, hit a team-high .533 for the tournament and scored seven runs. Cross and McSheffery both hit .500, with Cross scoring six runs and laying down a team-high three sacrifices, and McSheffery pounding out a team-high 11 hits with 10 RBIs, four doubles and a homerun against San Marcos.

"What our girls are doing right now is, when the other teams makes an error, we're capitalizing on it," McCullough said. "We're putting a lot of hits together and making them pay for it."

Watson hit .389 with a team-high five doubles. Savana Gibby scored seven runs while getting six hits. The Lady Cats also drew 24 walks (four each by Whitney Gideon, Courtney Aguilar and Stephanie Kethley).

Aguilar knocked in six runs, Gideon had four RBIs, while Kethley added a pair of doubles.

"Kristen hit .500 for the tournament and had an on-base percentage of .524. Plus, she's averaging a stolen base per game," McCullough said. "Basically, she's getting everything set for us. If she scores a run a game, we have a good chance to win, because we just need a run or two to win.

"She, Melissa McSheffery and Casey Carper all had outstanding tournaments for us."

He was also complimentary of Watson, who went 4-0 during the tournament, giving up just one earned run in 23 innings, striking out 19 and allowing 13 hits. McSheffery picked up the other two wins by not allowing an earned run in 13 innings. She gave up four hits and struck out 14.

For the tournament, the two pitchers had an earned run average of 0.19.

"When you hit .361 for the tournament and your pitchers have an ERA of 0.19, then you're probably going to win some games," McCullough said.

The wins give the Lady Cats a season record of 7-0-1, with a showdown Tuesday night at 7 p.m. in Frisco against the Lady Raccoons who won the Lewisville tournament over the weekend.

"Getting those innings in and getting to play against other teams is very important right now," McCullough said. "A lot of it is, the more times you get to see a pitcher, the girls kind of get their timing down a little bit better."

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