After 12 innings, Lindale prevails over Lady Cats
By JOSEPH ELERSON | News-Telegram Sports Writer
April 23, 2007 - DIANA - With the Lady Cats heading into the bottom of the seventh inning Saturday with a 2-0 lead, Sulphur Springs fans hoped their team could get the final three outs to advance into the Class 4A playoffs this weekend.
Lindale (26-6) had other ideas though, as the Lady Eagles won 3-2 in 12 innings at New Diana High School and then lost to North Lamar 1-0 in the second game to eliminate Sulphur Springs (17-14) from playoff contention.
The deciding games were necessary when the three teams ended the regular season tied for second place in District 11-4A.
"They earned it and went out there and put some hits together. I knew coming into into this game that they were a very good offensive team and they showed it in the seventh inning," said SSHS coach David Carrillo.
"It is nobody's fault and they just performed when they had to. Anybody could have won this game and basically it was who was going to make the first mistake and unfortunately it was us."
In the bottom of the seventh, Lindale's Ashley Kizer and Brooke Martin reached on back-to-back singles off Marci Womack with one out before Morgan Harpole tied the game at 2-2 with a double to left field to send the game into extra innings.
The deciding run came in the bottom of the 12th inning as Keely Nusko was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and then Ashton Brey reached on a single to put runners on first and second with no outs. Lindale's Kylie Packard then plated the game winning run on an error by Mac Morgan for the 3-2 finale.
Earlier in the contest, the Lady Cats took a 1-0 lead in the third inning as Tarra Morton led off the inning with a single to center field. Pinch runner Krista McMahan then stole second, advanced to third on an error and with one out scored on an double by Kelsey Evans.
The Lady Cats added to their lead in the top of the fourth inning as with one out, Maurie Lewis reached with a double to right field. Jenna Davis then singled to put runners on first and third before Brittani Crawford drove in Lewis with a groundout for the 2-0 lead.
"Offensively, we hit the ball hard at times and defensively they made some great plays," Carrillo said. "It was a battle, and when you get two teams that are that close it is going to be a good game. It was an awesome pitching night from all of the pitchers tonight."
Womack wrapped up her junior year with a complete game eight-hitter with one walk and seven strikeouts for the Lady Cats to finish the year at 15-9.
"Marci was steady and did her usual strong performance," the coach said. "She is a very head strong person and is such a competitor. It is tough for her to lose a game like this, and she did an outstanding job tonight. I am very proud of these girls and they played hard. Even when the momentum changed in the seventh inning we were still able to come back and battle."
Carrillo is looking for more good things from next year's squad, which will return everyone but three seniors: Morton, Jordan Anderson and Kristen McDonald.
"This was an awesome year," the coach said. "It was a year of ups and downs early on and we were able to win some really big ballgames. The experience that we have this year will carry over to next year. We are going to be salty next year and I think our program is headed in the right direction."
Notes: With the loss, the Lady Cats finished the season in fourth place in district play at 6-5 after finishing 3-7 in district last season under coach Tommy Grammar. ... The Lady Cats finished the evening with 11 ground ball outs and 14 unassisted putouts with nine runners stranded against Lindale. ... SSHS also committed five errors in the game compared to two for Lindale. ... Sulphur Springs almost doubled its win total from last year when they won nine games.