Lady Cats pick up big win over Texas High in district opener

By JOSEPH ELERSON | News-Telegram Sports Writer

Mar. 17, 2007 - The Sulphur Springs Lady Cats opened up the District 11-4A schedule with a big win Friday night over the Texas High Lady Tigers, 5-1, at Lady Cat Park.

"Our girls were ready to play and were focused and got after it," said SSHS coach David Carrillo. "They knew they were going to face a good team tonight and they played hard. It was definitely a team win tonight."

The Lady Cats (12-9 overall, 1-0 in district) scored all five of their runs in the third inning as they sent nine batters to the plate and did all of their damage with two outs.

Kelsey Evans and Mac Morgan started the rally with back-to-back singles before Texas High committed three straight errors starting with an error by Natalie Peek during Amanda McGowin's at-bat.

McGowin then reached second on a stolen base and later scored on a passed ball for a 3-0 lead. Katie Dodd reached on an error by the shortstop and then Maurie Lewis reached third on an error by the left fielder, which scored Dodd. Jenna Davis gave SSHS a 5-0 lead with an RBI single scoring Lewis from third.

All five runs against Texas High starter Kelsey Harrington were unearned, and Harrington went six innings giving up five runs on six hits with eight strikeouts.

The Lady Cats had a chance to score in the bottom of the second inning as Dodd led off the inning with a single, advanced to second on a groundout and reached third on a passed ball, but was stranded as Harrington got out of the inning with a pair of strikeouts.

SSHS had another chance in the bottom of the fifth inning as Morgan led off the inning with a double but was thrown out at third on a double play by McGowin to clear the bases.

"That gets a little tough as a coach because you expect to get those runs in," Carrillo said. "It hurts when you don't put the ball in play and that is what we stress. Our girls know that we want to get the ball in play and hope that they make a mistake.

"During that sequence of events, it didn't work out for us, but we are going to learn from that."

SSHS starting pitcher Marci Womack retired the first 10 batters she faced before Taylor Robnett reached on an error. Texas High then broke up Womack's no-hitter in the top of the fifth inning on a sharp grounder by Peek.

Womack pitched a complete game, giving up one run on three hits with eight strikeouts. The one run against her was unearned.

"Marci was pumped tonight and she showed it," Carrillo said. "She was ready to get after it and she definitely had her game face on."

T-High (12-5) scored its run in the top of the seventh inning with one out as Harrington reached on a throwing error and advanced to second on a single by Victoria Stewart. Monica Choate then loaded the bases with a single and Peek drove in Harrington with a fielder's choice for the 5-1 deficit.

Morgan went 2-for-3 with a run scored at the plate for the Lady Cats, while Evans, Dodd, Lewis and Davis each recorded hits.

Carrillo said the girls were excited to pick up a win against Texas High after losing both games last season.

"I told the girls for the next nine games that we have to stay focused and we have to take every inning like it is 0-0 and we have to make plays. That is what we did tonight," Carrillo said. "They were very excited and T-High is a great team. We did a great job of answering the call and hopefully we are going to be ready when we go to their place."

On Tuesday night, the Lady Cats travel to No. 12-ranked North Lamar, which defeated No. 4-ranked Lindale 3-1 in 13 innings last night.

"We face North Lamar on Tuesday and it is never easy beating them over there," the coach said. "We are going to go over there and stay focused and keep getting after it and play ball."

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