|Lady Cats defeat Greenville, 1-0|
|Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor|
April 12, 2006 - One-run games seem to be the norm in District 12-4A, but that was OK with the Sulphur Springs Lady Cats on Tuesday.
The Lady Cats rode the 10-strikeout pitching of Marci Womack, errorless defense and a two-out, run-scoring single by freshman Brittani Crawford to defeat Greenville, 1-0, at Lady Cat Park.
Sulphur Springs has played in five one-run games in district this year, having won the last two.
"If you come out on top, you like them pretty well," said SSHS head coach Tommy Grammer. "We'll take them any way we can get them.
"There were no errors on both sides, great pitching on both sides, and we were fortunate to have a little more baserunning. We hit the ball sharp several times right at their gloves, but we did enough to get a win."
Sulphur Springs manufactured the only run of the game in the third inning, but it wasn't without some controversy.
Senior outfielder Tara Gibby worked a one-out walk against Greenville pitcher Holly Patterson and advanced to second on a two-out single by Kelsey Evans, who had a two-hit game.
Crawford then singled sharply to left field, and Gibby tried to score. However, Greenville catcher Kayla Martinez came about eight feet up the line to block the plate without the ball. Gibby had to slide early and never reached home plate because Martinez was in the base path, but the home plate umpire ruled Gibby safe because a player cannot block the runner's path when not applying a tag.
Womack, who gave up just three hits and no walks, and the Lady Cats' defense made the lead stand up. Two of Greenville's three hits came in the final two innings, but both times catcher Jordan Anderson threw down to Crawford covering second to catch both runners trying to steal.
The Lady Cats also had other opportunities. Jenna Davis singled twice, and pinch runner Krista McMahan stole two bases, but Sulphur Springs couldn't score. Pinch hitter Brittani Dillard also worked a one-out walk in the fifth, but couldn't come around.
Sulphur Springs batters looked good at the plate, fanning just four times and hitting the ball sharply several other times, but Greenville played errorless ball in the field.
"Pitching was great. Marci had 10 strikeouts - great job there," Grammer said. "When you get good pitching and no errors, you ought to win the ball game. The girls are starting to hit the ball well. We worked a lot on it this week and last week."
The win puts Sulphur Springs (3-5 in district, 9-12-1 overall) in a three-way tie for third-place in the district with Paris and North Lamar. However, the Lady Cats must face first-place Texas High (8-0) in Texarkana on Friday (the game was moved from the originally-scheduled Thursday).
With two regular season games remaining, the Lady Cats must beat the Lady Tigers to have a realistic chance at the postseason.
"These girls want a win and they're hungry for a win. We've got our eyes on T-High. If we beat T-High, that puts us back in the hunt, and we'll gain a lot of respect by beating that bunch," Grammer added.