Lady Cats softball improves to 2-0 in district play
From Staff Reports

March 26, 2005 - MOUNT PLEASANT - SSHS head softball coach John McCullough liked what he saw Thursday night against the Mount Pleasant Lady Tigers - and why not?

The Lady Cats racked up 11 hits, committed just one error, and junior pitcher Hailey Watson threw a complete-game shutout in an 8-0 victory.

Sulphur Springs (11-6-2 overall) improved to 2-0 in District 12-4A, while Mount Pleasant fell to 0-2, 11-7-1.

Like their district opener Tuesday against Paris, the Lady Cats scored in the first inning to immediately put pressure on their opposition.

"We really had a great first inning, scoring four runs with two outs," McCullough said. "We actually got five straight hits after we had two outs. We jumped on them 4-0, and that took the pressure off and allowed us to just go out and play.

"We had 11 hits, so we hit the ball really well, and we only had one error. That's probably the closest we've had to a complete game the whole year."

Brittany Moore led the offensive attack with three extra-base hits - two doubles and a home run - and a pair of RBI. Watson and Stephanie Kethley added a pair of hits and two RBI as well.

It was Moore who got the Lady Cats started in the first when she slapped a two-out double to left. Watson followed with a bloop single, then Nichole Fender hit a run-scoring single. Kethley hit an opposite-field, two-run double, and Betsy Blount added an RBI single to give the Lady Cats a comfortable 4-0 advantage.

They added two more runs in the second, again scoring with two outs. Kristen McDonald singled down the left field line to lead off the inning, then Moore again doubled with two outs. They both came around on Watson's single up the middle to give Sulphur Springs a 6-0 cushion.

The final two runs came in the fourth when Casey Carper walked and Moore drove them both in with a home run over the left field fence.

Defensively, the Lady Cats cut down a potential run at home in the sixth when Christina Patchen relayed a throw from left field to Tara Gibby, who gunned the ball to Fender at catcher to get the runner, who was trying to score from first on a double.

Freshman second baseman Amanda McGowin took a hit away from the Lady Tigers in the first inning when she made a diving stop and threw from her knees to nab the runner at first to leave two runners stranded. And, the final two outs of the game came courtesy of a 1-6-3 double play that went from Watson to Gibby to Kethley.

Watson went the distance on the mound, striking out four and walking two while giving up six hits and no runs.

"Hailey did a great job pitching again. She moved the ball around and kept them off-balance," McCullough said. "She had better command of her change-up and got two strikeouts and a couple of ground balls on change-ups where they were out on their front foot."

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