|Lady Cats lose to Sachse in sixth inning|
|Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor|
March 2, 2005 - Sulphur Springs pitcher Hailey Watson and Sachse's Katie Pipes had almost identical lines Tuesday night except for one thing - unearned runs.
Sachse used three SSHS errors in the sixth inning to account for the only runs of the game in a 2-0 victory at Lady Cat Field.
Both pitchers went the distance, and each gave up just four hits while striking out six and allowing no earned runs. But, while Pipes got the benefit of a disputed call in the fourth inning that took a Sulphur Springs run off the board, Watson had to try to pitch around four SSHS fielding errors.
It was especially frustrating for Sulphur Springs head coach John McCullough, who stresses defense above all else. The team (6-2) had committed just three errors in four tournament victories over the weekend, which he had hoped was a sign of progression.
"We took a step back tonight," he said bluntly. "Hailey pitched a great game and didn't allow an earned run. We should have been out of that inning without them scoring, but we kicked the ball around and gave them two runs.
"You can't do that against a team that's playing good defense and a pitcher that's kind of keeping you off-balance a little bit. We've got to find a way to make sure we make those plays."
Sachse's sixth-inning rally started with one out when Lauren Mork worked a full-count walk and Susanne Faith was hit by a pitch. But, an infield error loaded the bases and another one brought in the Lady Mustang's first run. A third error allowed the second run to score, but second baseman Casey Carper threw a strike to catcher Nichole Fender to catch Sachse's Ashley Rowland trying to score to end the inning.
Sulphur Springs tried to come back in the last half of the seventh when Watson beat out an infield single and Christina Patchen lined a two-out single past the second baseman. But, Fender's bloop to shallow left was grabbed by the Sachse shortstop to end the game.
The Lady Cats had a chance to score the first run of the game - and it appeared they did - in the fourth inning, but a curious call by the home plate umpire took the run off the board.
Ne-Ne Hynson, who went 2-for-3, opened the fourth by blasting a triple over the left fielder's head. Stephanie Kethley then hit what appeared to be a sacrifice fly to left in which Hynson scored without a throw. But, Sachse appealed that Hynson had left third early, and the home plate umpire ruled her out - even though he admitted to McCullough that he didn't actually see whether Hynson had tagged or not.
"We got enough hits to win the game - we just didn't get them in," McCullough said. "We got a couple on in the end and couldn't score. We had the leadoff triple, then had the call go against us, but that's just part of it."
In junior varsity action, Sulphur Springs Gold beat the Sachse JV, 6-0, as Tarra Morton threw seven innings, giving up three hits while striking out 11.
Leading hitters were Brandi Laine (2-for-3, double), Jordan Godwin (double) and Kaylee Cotton (2-for-2, walk).
Upcoming Games: The Lady Cats will try to get back on the winning side of the ledger when they travel to Frisco on Thursday for tournament games at 4 p.m. against San Antonio Jay and 8 p.m. vs. Lewisville. On Friday, they will play Birdville at 4 p.m. and Carrollton Creekview at 6 p.m. Then, they will take on Frisco at 11 a.m. Saturday. If they finish in the top three in their pool, the Lady Cats will play at either 3 p.m. or 5 p.m. Saturday in a trophy game.
All their games will be at Shawnee Park. To get there, take Preston Road into Frisco, then exit left on Main Street, then take a right on Hillcrest. The park is one mile south of Stonebrook Road.