Lady Cats pull to within a game of first with win over Mount Pleasant

By JOSEPH ELERSON | News-Telegram Sports Writer

Mar. 24, 2007 - MOUNT PLEASANT - Facing one of the top pitchers in the district in Mount Pleasant's Laura Rawlings, the Sulphur Springs Lady Cats pulled off a big 3-2 win against the Lady Tigers Friday night.

Going into this game, Rawlings had only given up two hits in district play. She threw a perfect game against Paris in the 11-4A opener and had a perfect game through the first five innings on Tuesday.

Sulphur Springs (13-10 overall, 2-1 in district) capitalized with three runs on seven hits and forced the Lady Tigers into two errors during the game.

"I can't lie about this game tonight. We came out and got after it and that girl is a great pitcher," said SSHS coach David Carrillo. "They got some hitters in their lineup and Marci (Womack) did an outstanding job tonight. Our girls came back and battled after a tough loss on Tuesday night, and in this district that is important that you continue to fight and battle and stay focused. We were able to make the plays tonight."

Womack picked up win No. 11 on the year and pitched a complete-game four-hitter with six strikeouts and only one earned run for the Lady Cats.

"We were able to hold them from putting a bunch of hits together back-to-back on us," the coach said. "Marci was steady and focused and she was a rock tonight, and that was the main difference. It is awesome to have someone like her on your team because you know she is steady and she will get after it, and that is what she did tonight."

The Lady Cats broke a scoreless tie in the top of the second inning as Maurie Lewis was hit by a pitch from Rawlings. With one out, Brittani Crawford hit into a fielder's choice, but the shortstop dropped the ball on the tag and SSHS had runners on first and second.

With two outs, Tarra Morton hit a single to shallow right field to load the bases, and then Kelsey Evans produced a two-run single scoring Lewis and Crawford. Mac Morgan followed with an RBI single to score Morton for the 3-0 lead.

"The team that stays focused and make the plays is going to win. Even the little dribbler that Tarra hit was a big deal for us," Carrillo said. "We were able to make plays and they rallied and fought hard and we were able to hold them off tonight."

Mount Pleasant came back in the bottom of the inning as Jalissa Williams reached on a fielder's choice and advanced to second on a single by Hannah Jones. Williams then reached third on a groundout from Rawlings and scored on a passed ball for the 3-1 deficit.

The Lady Tigers scored another run in the bottom of the fourth inning on back-to-back singles by Denise Amador and Darcy Casteel before Williams hit into a fielder's choice as Womack turned and made the throw to Crawford at third for the forceout of Amador.

Casteel then advanced to third on a passed ball and Jones hit a sacrifice fly scoring Casteel for the 3-2 deficit.

Carrillo said after the game that he was worried about Amador and Casteel, who went a combined 3-for-6 with one run scored and two strikeouts against Womack.

"I have heard a lot about them and they scare me," he said. "I told them after the game that they scare me and they have an outstanding team. We beat a good team tonight and we are going to enjoy this one."

Kelsey Evans led the Lady Cats at the plate going 2-for-4 with two RBI and was hit on the hand by a pitch in the sixth inning. She was able to finish the game, but had her hand wrapped afterward.

Morgan, Amanda McGowin, Lewis, Krista McMahan and Morton each recorded a hit in the game.

The Lady Cats return home on Tuesday to face the No. 4-ranked Lindale Lady Eagles (21-2 overall, 1-2 in district) with first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m.

"To tell you the truth, I am not sure about that game on Tuesday night. For me as a coach it is a lot of deep thought because you can't rest and we've got to stay and get after it," the coach said. "We are not looking too far ahead and it is Lindale on Tuesday - which is back at home and that is a good thing. Again, they have a great program and they are going to get ready and come after it. We are going to fight too, and take a couple of deep breaths and see who has the best that night."

Notes: In the other District 11-4A matchups, North Lamar held on to their first-place lead with a 2-1 win over Texas High, while Lindale defeated Paris 6-2 to pick up their first district win of the year.

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