Lady Cats defeat Forney behind complete-game from Womack
Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor

March 8, 2006 - The Lady Cats showed a few nerves in the late innings Tuesday night, but displayed more guts in a 2-1 win over the Forney Lady Rabbits.

Sulphur Springs took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the sixth, then persevered through a pair of errors in Forney's half of the seventh to come away with the home victory.

"They were kind of pressing there at the end because we're still young," said SSHS head coach Tommy Grammer. "They're going to get better, but they're going to feel that pressure a little bit. We need to be in those tight situations and tight ball games, and we'll get better being in there."

SSHS sophomore Marci Womack threw a complete-game five-hitter and worked out of trouble in each of the last three innings. Especially in the seventh.

Forney's Kallan Thompson rapped a one-out double down the right field line and scored on Casey Campanello's sacrifice bunt. Then with two outs, the Lady Cats made a pair of infield errors to put the tying run on third and the go-ahead run at second.

Womack though, induced a high fly to left field where Brittani Dillard grabbed it while heading into foul territory to end the threat.

Womack finished the game with six strikeouts and one walk.

"Marci did a great job of pitching. They never hit the ball extremely hard against us," Grammer said. "They got on with a couple of bunts - our coverages are getting better - but our defense is looking good."

The Lady Cats weren't able to get much going against Forney ace Brittney Benedict early. SSHS freshman Katie Dodd broke up Benedict's no-hitter with a one-out single in the fourth, but was stranded at second.

Then, in the sixth, the Lady Cats finally got a runner across. Amanda McGowin led off the inning with a full-count walk and went to second on a passed ball. Freshman Brittani Crawford then sacrificed her to third, and Crawford was safe at first when the second baseman, who was covering first on the bunt, missed the bag. That proved to be a huge play.

After Crawford stole second, junior Tarra Morton drove in McGowin with a hard hopper off the third baseman's glove, and Womack drove in Crawford with a sacrifice fly to left to stake SSHS to a 2-0 lead.

The Lady Cats needed the insurance run to stay ahead after Forney's rally.

"What really happens is if we get the pitching that we really need, these kids eventually are going to hit the ball. That's a good pitcher they have, and we just finally got to her there late," Grammer said.

The Lady Cats had just three base runners through the first five innings. Along with Dodd's single, Womack and Nichole Fender both walked.

Sulphur Springs evened its record at 5-5 and will try to get on the winning side of the ledger on Friday when the Lady Cats travel to Sherman. The varsity-only contest is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m.

Then on Tuesday, the Lady Cats open District 12-4A action when they host Paris.

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