Texas High pulls off win against Lady Cats
From Staff Reports

April 18, 2006 - TEXARKANA - The Sulphur Springs Lady Cats played Texas High evenly for nine innings on Friday. Then came the 10th.

Texas High remained undefeated in District 12-4A by plating an unearned run in the 10th inning to hand Sulphur Springs a 2-1 defeat.

The loss severely hurt the Lady Cats' playoff hopes, but didn't knock them out completely. Sulphur Springs (9-13-1 overall, 3-6 in district) must win their regular season finale on Friday against North Lamar, and hope Greenville (0-9) can beat Paris (4-5).

If that happens, Sulphur Springs and Paris will be tied for third and final playoff spot and will meet again next week to determine the third seed.

"We dug ourselves a hole there, and it's unfortunate we have to rely on somebody else, but our hopes are still alive," said SSHS head coach Tommy Grammer. "We're going to continue to practice hard this week and prepare to beat North Lamar."

The Lady Cats almost beat Texas High (22-2, 9-0) in regulation.

Sulphur Springs had the go-ahead run on second base in the form of Brittani Dillard pinch-running for Katie Dodd who reached on her second hit of the game. Senior Tara Gibby then shot a line drive into left field and Dillard attempted to score, but the T-High left fielder threw home and Dillard was tagged out at the plate.

"We had our chances to win the ball game, but they just didn't go our way," said Grammer. "Those calls can go either way."

The Lady Cats scored the first run of the game in the top of the second when Dodd led off the inning with a single and Jordan Anderson sacrificed her to second. Gibby then laid down a bunt, and when the throw to second was mishandled by the second baseman, Dodd came all the way around to score.

The Lady Tigers tied the game in the bottom of the third when Briauna Birl reached on a fielder's choice and stole second. After a walk to Miracle Thurston, they pulled off a successful double steal. Birl then scored on a grounder to shortstop Brittani Crawford, who threw across to Dodd at first. Dodd then returned to throw to Brandi Laine at third base to tag out Thurston trying to advance.

Gibby pulled off another outstanding defensive play to open the game. Playing right field, she pulled in on the rim of the infield to play against Birl's slap-hitting and bunting. Birl slapped a ball to the right side, and Gibby fielded it, ran and dove to first to beat Birl for the first out of the contest.

The Lady Tigers, though, pushed across the winning run in the bottom of the 10th. Katie Nicklas and Samantha DeRamcy both reached on errors, and Nicklas scored the winning run on Birl's single to left.

"That's probably the best game we've played to date. We hit the ball well - we had five hits and stung the ball well on several other occasions," Grammer said. "Our defense matched up with them, and we were able to play the type of defense that shut their speed down."

Sulphur Springs sophomore Marci Womack went the distance in the circle, giving up just five hits and two walks while fanning 10. Only one run against her was earned. She now has a 0.73 ERA in district, but has a 2-5 record.

Texas High pitcher Kelsey Harrington gave up five hits and one walk while striking out 15. Along with Dodd's two hits and Gibby's single, Crawford and Anderson also had hits for SSHS.

Notes: The Lady Cats will have Senior Night activities prior to Friday's home game against North Lamar, slated to start at 6:30 p.m. ... There is no game on Tuesday because of TAKS testing. ... Texas High and Mount Pleasant have secured the district's top two seeds.

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