Lady Cats open softball season with win over Denison
From Staff Reports

Feb. 15, 2006 - DENISON - A pair of Sulphur Springs hurlers combined on a one-hitter and the offense backed them up with a pair of run-scoring doubles in the sixth inning as the Lady Cats took a 3-0 victory over Denison in the softball season opener.

Sophomore Marci Womack threw five no-hit innings, and junior Tarra Morton allowed just a ground ball single in two relief frames to pick up the save. Womack struck out eight and walked one, while Morton fanned two without a walk.

The Lady Cats took a 1-0 lead in the second inning without benefit of a hit. Junior Kristen McDonald walked to lead off the inning and was sacrificed to second base by Jordan Anderson. McDonald advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on Brandi Laine's RBI grounder.

"It was a well-played game," said coach Eric Buck, who will be leading the team while head coach Tommy Grammer undergoes surgery on his heel. "We played small ball in the second inning and got Kristen around with a walk, a bunt and grounder to get the lead."

In the sixth, the Lady Cats bunched together three of their five hits to put the game out of reach. Womack led off with an infield single and came around on McDonald's double. McDonald then scored when Anderson followed with another double for a 3-0 SSHS advantage.

Anderson took advantage of her playing time in place of catcher Nichole Fender, who took a foul ball off her right shoulder just three batters into the game. Her availability for Saturday's home opener against Coriscana is unknown.

The Lady Cats' other hits were by senior Tara Gibby, who also reached twice on walks, and sophomore Amanda McGowin.

Sulphur Springs committed three errors and struck out 10 times, but Buck said otherwise it was a well-played game. One of the SS errors occurred on a wind-blown ball sliced to leftfield by a left-handed batter, and the other two he attributed to "getting in a hurry on ground balls to the infield."

The junior varsity chalked up a 5-0 victory as freshman Brittany Crawford pitched a complete-game shutout.

Buck also said the freshmen team's tournament in Paris has been moved up a day and will begin Thursday to try to beat the winter weather which has been forecast for the weekend.

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